When it’s over, French Director Michel Hazanayicius has done something very wonderful and unique by breathing new life to silent films. In the absence of words, Hazanayicius used music, captions, montages, and a brilliant cast to tell the story of a silent movie star named George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) who fears the emergence of the “talkies” will be the end of his career. Contrary to the film’s storyline, I think Dujardin’s excellent performance consisting of eye twitching, frowns, smiles, and body gestures will be the emergence of greater Hollywood roles to come. Berenice Bejo as Peppy Miller delivered what her name implies. She was exciting to watch and knew just how to flirt with the camera. John Goodman, James Cromwell, and Penelope Ann Miller all added to the sparkle of this gem. There was so much nostalgia about this film that watching it reminded me of other silent greats that I’ve long forgotten such as The Birth of a Nation (1915), Battleship Potemkin (1925) from the Soviet Union, and the creepy Nosferatu (1922) from Germany. There was nothing I didn’t like about The Artist. The details were spot on from the sets, to the costumes, to the look of the film stocks of a bygone era known as vintage Hollywood. Lastly, I couldn’t end this blog without mentioning George’s dog (Uggie), who definitely deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, and Strongheart.
My rating: 5 out of 5
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