Monday, January 2, 2012

The Artist (9/10)

Each year I try to see most of the films that will potentially get nominated for Best Picture. Last year I saw 8 out of 10 before the Academy Awards aired and this year I plan to see all of them prior to the awards show. Having said that, there are already predictions as to which movies may be nominated for Best Picture in 2012 and among them is The Artist.  My wife and I saw The Artist just before Christmas. I had read a lot of buzz about the film since Jean Dujardin's (lead actor) won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and the film itself had since received many awards and nominations. Much of the attention the film is receiving is due to the fact that it is silent (except for music). The movie reminded me a lot of Singin' in the Rain  as it dealt with the advent of talkies (movies with dialogue and sound) and the twilight of the silent film star. Dujardin's character, George Valentin, is a famous silent film actor who falls on hard times as talkies become increasingly popular. The film is incredibly funny and well executed. I felt like I was transported back in time. The movie was even shot in a 4:3 ratio (the image was square and had black bars on the sides of the screen as oppose to rectangular). The film is easily one of my favorites of 2011 (my top 10 list should be on here soon) and it will likely be one I show in my Lit through Film class in the future. I recommend this film to anyone who appreciates the history of film and the "innocence" of old time Hollywood. My rating is 9/10.


  1. Alright Dan, you've seen both MI4 and the artist. Would you agree with my assessment of 8.5 to MI4? Is the artist .5 points more successful at executing its premise than MI4?

  2. I don't think it was necessarily more successful; just more original. There are plenty of movies like MI:4, not to mention the other Mission Impossible movies. While I loved Ghost Protocol, there was something unique and, well, magical about The Artist. You have go to back some 60 years to find another movie like it. I liked Mission Impossible, but I gave the edge to The Artist for the risk-taking and originality aspects. Both films are great.

  3. I agree with both of you guys here. Some critics go way overboard on insisting that every movie be completely original in order for it to be enjoyable. I totally disagree. That's why we have genre movies and Ghost Protocol is a prime example; it is a movie that knows what it's purpose is and perfectly executes it. It is original in some sense in that it brings a lot of energy to a familiar genre, but in many other ways, it is simply (and beautifully I might add, especially on the IMAX) an action movie. And Lord knows we have tons of action movies each year. So in that way, it is not an original concept at all. The movies that truly suck are either in genres that shouldn't exist in the first place (which is, of course, highly subjective) or don't do an adequate job of fulfilling their purpose within their genre.

    But in terms of artistic quality and originality, The Artist far surpasses Ghost Protocol because it not only perfectly executes it's premise, it is also a unique film unlike any we've seen in decades.