I love the elegant sophistication of black and white films, especially films that come from the 20s-40s era (big time range, lots of good movies.) It’s not just the lack of vibrant colors that makes the B&W films so good, but it’s also the stunning simplicity yet intricate characters that makes the films warm my heart.
TCM is home to a lot of classic movies, but in 2011 Lithuanian-French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius decided to bring back that classic era with his award-winning film, The Artist.
For months I had been wanting to go see The Artist,but I never could find the time (or someone to accompany me) to see the film. Part of me wishes I would have seen the movie when it first came out in select theatres, but I’m glad that I was finally able to buy it OnDemand and watch it yesterday afternoon.
The Artistis one of the best films I’ve seen in quite some time. I’m so in love with it…I’m going to watch it again, again, and yes, one more time…again. The film follows the riveting story of silent film star George Valentine (Jean Dujardin.) He’s got all the charisma, suave, and irresistible charm that makes fans go crazy over him. Oh, and he is extremely cocky, but it’s charming. It’s not the annoying kind of cockiness, it’s just this attitude of a 1920s Hollywood movie star.
George Valentine has got it all…until he meets Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo.) This random beauty ends up bumping into him and they have this immediate chemistry that is unexplainable. Since the movie is entirely silent (except for a few moments of a dream and the end,) you truly get to experience the silence of love. Facial expressions and gestures between George and Peppy truly lets us know that there is some magical connection between them. Perfect strangers…love at first sight.
The film follows the story of George’s decline as an actor, which is due to the introduction of Kinograph studios deciding to make only the “talkies” (movies with sound.) Once a Hollywood hotshot, George is slowly becoming replaced by Peppy and her rising stardom. The studio drops George, picks up Peppy and she becomes Hollywood’s “it girl.” So throughout the film you get to see the striking contrast of his fall and her rise, yet still feel the unspoken love they share.
My favorite aspect of the film is truly silence. I’ve always enjoyed classic silent films, so the lack of sound didn’t bother me; the experience is enhanced. The facial expressions convey so many emotions, and Jean Dujardin is such an amazing actor. Honestly, the film had a lot of great actors, including the dog. George’s main companion through his trials and tribulations is this incredibly well-trained Jack Russell Terrier, Uggie. The dog isn’t just an extra on the set, he truly is a main character in the film.
Oh I must also mention the film won three Golden Globe Awards: best actor, score and best motion picture musical or comedy, as well as numerous Oscars. Critics and awards don’t help me decide whether a film is good (okay, sometimes,) but honestly The Artist is just such an amazing film and I knew it was going to be stunning when I first saw the trailer.
The Artist the perfect combination of love, tap dancing, comedy, sorrow, redemption, and the ultimate reality of how powerful silence can be. If you’re looking for a great film to watch that stays in your mind and heart, then you should truly check out The Artist. It will leave you laughing, crying, nervous at a particular scene (I’m not going to include a spoiler,) and it will make you think about love at first sight and the reality of chemistry between strangers, especially non-spoken connections. Ah, the silence of love…
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com