Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Still from The Artist
Few Films touched me as deeply as Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist in 2011 and to be honest it may have helped that I had few expectations walking into it. All I knew about it prior was that it is about Silent Film Star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) and how the end of that Era halted his flourishing Career abruptly.  Staying true to the Era it pays homage to, the Film only is stylized as a Silent Film and shot in a unique Aspect Ratio of 1.37 :1.

With changing paradigms in Film coming with the introduction of Dialogue-based Films known as the Talkies, we see a young Woman named Peppy Miller's (Bérénice Bejo) stock rise as a bona fide Movie Star.  Although it is the changing tastes of Moviegoers and Studio Executives which lead to Valentin's professional demise, it also is his stubborn Pride which he falls victim to ultimately, refusing to accept help including that of his biggest Admirer, Peppy.

Jean Dujardin's brilliant performance as Valentin is the stuff of Oscars and remarkably he does it saying only two words the entire Film.  He stretches himself to the limit emotionally completely with just physical gestures and facial emoting. Argentinian/French Talent Bejo is a true revelation here as the beautiful and effervescent Peppy and one cannot help but fall in love with her Character's genuine pure spirit.  And how about that adorable little Jack Russell named Uggie as Valentin's Sidekick incessantly tugging at our heartstrings?

Alliance Films' The Artist is now in theatres and don't be shocked if it were to take it all  - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress and of course Best Actor - at the 84th Academy Awards.  Isn't it about time you saw something truly uplifting?