February 26, 2012

At the Movies: The Artist

In 1927, George Valentin is the biggest film star there is, his silent movies are widely popular and he can't imagine a time where it won't be so. He certainly doesn't believe that 'talking' movies will stick. By chance he meet a young ingenue actress named Peppy Miller, with whom he feels an instant connection - something that his marriage is currently lacking. 

But the moment passes and years go by before they see each other again. In the meantime, George's career takes hit after hit, and when the 1929 depression hits, things deteriorate for him fast, and even his marriage is over, leaving him but with the company of his faithful butler/driver and his dog. On the other hand, Peppy went off to become a huge film star. 

But Peppy has never forgotten George - how kind he was that one time he was an extra in one of his movies, or the chemistry between them - and she's ready to do whatever she can to help him. 

I admit that I went to see The Artist full of skepticism, before I went I even joked with a friend that I couldn't believe I was going to go see a silent movie - I have no trouble with black and white, but silent? - but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the movie. 

Jean Dujardin is so charming, and you buy into his character and the lack of words doesn't even bother you, he just has to smile and you're there. Berenice Bejo played her part well, and was pretty likable too. 
Now, the dog totally steals the movie, he was AWESOME. 

Also, one thing this movie made me notice is how important music is, because it was totally what was settling the mood and the pace of the movie and it was beautifully done. 

I give this movie an A-

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