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Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), it seems the sky's the limit - major movie stardom awaits. THE ARTIST tells the story of their interlinked destinies.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 274
- Fresh: 267
- Rotten: 7
- Average Rating: 8.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: There is literally nothing wrong with it. I don't have a single nit to pick, minor flaw to point out or little bit that annoyed me. It is pure magic from the first frame to the last.
Fresh: It isn't arty or intellectual, though it is artful and ingenious, and it's the rare crowd-pleaser that never feels obvious or pandering.
Fresh: The whole thing is so damn clever and charming, it might just sneak off with Best Picture.
Fresh: You can't fault it as smart entertainment, which eschews parody to make a sincere tribute that also serves as cogent current commentary.
A BEAUTIFUL CELEBRATION OF SILENT CINEMA!
"The Artist" is one of those rare gems that come along every once in a while to remind us why we love going to the movies in the first place. More often than not, we want to see something creative, something we've never seen before, something that'll stay in our minds for years to come. This film accomplishes all that, and then some. Not only does it stand as a joyous tribute to the magic of silent cinema; it stands as a genuinely entertaining and enriching experience all its own.
The movie takes place in Hollywood in the late 1920s. We follow George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), a silent film superstar who has it all. But as the arrival of talkies soon threatens to end his career, we see him slowly fall into oblivion. Meanwhile, young extra Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) quickly finds her way to stardom as a successful big-name actress. This is the story of their fervent relationship and interlinked destinies.
From the black and white cinematography to the often humorous intertitles to the beautiful score by Ludovic Bource, nearly everything about "The Artist" feels like a classic silent movie from the golden age, with a slightly more up-to-date appearance. There's practically no dialogue spoken throughout the course of the film, but that doesn't even matter thanks to George and Peppy's gracefully vibrant chemistry. Their facial expressions, body movements and hand gestures alone speak volumes. And perhaps that's what I most admired about this film: the fact that it could tell such a wonderful, engaging story through various character expressions rather than simple, audible words. It was also nice to see that the plot was simplistic enough so that it didn't overshadow the artistic aspect of the movie. Besides all that, there's just so much to love about this film. The delightfully quirky performances, the superbly conducted music, the affectionately nostalgic set pieces, the list goes on and on. Case in point, this is an unabashed love letter to movies of the past that just as well stands as a triumphant romance all its own.
It's easy to see why "The Artist" was the most awarded motion picture at the Oscars this year. Director Michel Hazanavicius has composed a stunning work of art, a wondrous treat for the eyes and ears that fully entertains from beginning to end. With its creative ingenuity and universal appeal, I know this film will become a nostalgic treasure for many years to come. Without a doubt, it's easily one of the most brilliantly well-crafted features I've ever seen in my life, and I can't wait to purchase it. If you're a true lover of cinema and haven't seen this amazing masterpiece already, I strongly recommend doing so. You won't regret it!
A Joyful Remembrance of Old Hollywood!
Rarely does there come a film that transports us to a different time. Director Michel Hazanavicius does so with flying colors; winning both our hearts and our tears.
"The Artrist" begins in 1927, with silent movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) facing a new era of Hollywood; films with sound. For rising talent Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) however; there seems to be no limit to what she can acheive in this new age, becoming just as big a star as George, if not bigger. George, and his big ego, refuse to conform; believing that audiences will still love him because they just want to watch him act, not hear him. As the story progresses, we watch the lives of George and Peppy intertwine as one career falls, and another rises.
The greatest aspect of this film is the heart that everyone involved put into this. No one uses the whole silent aspect of this as a gimmick, as most other modern silent films do. The director, the actors, the writers, they all treat this as a true silent film. Michel Hazanavicius show us through his direction that he really does love the older years of Hollywood. The actors, especially the two main leads, do a marvelous job capturing conveying such spirit and emotion, all the while not even making a sound. The technical side is also quite amazing, with the cinematography and score feeling very reminiscant of the silent era.
As both a love-letter to Hollywood and as modern entertainment, this fires on all cylinders and knocks it out of the park. The only other thing I would have to say about "The Artist" is that it deserved all its Oscar nominations and wins. This is one of those films that will hold a special place in the history of cinema, and in the hearts of many film lovers. Two Thumbs Up!
The Artist (2011)
5 Out of 5 Stars
They just don't make them like they used to ... no really.
The Artist is a film set in classic 1920's Hollywood, the silent era. A movie that stands out from others as a unique and different tale of cinema. It takes a chance, and as almost all of critics everywhere agree, it gambles and wins! The Weinsteins chose wisely when they chose Michel Hazanavicius' masterpiece!
The Artist takes place during the slient era and our hero, Geroge Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the top movie star of the period. He runs into a girl Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) who's trying to break into the industry and become an acttress herself.
As time passes, The Great Depression hits, and talking pictures are born. The world gradually moves away from the silent era and its stars and want to see a new face, Peppy Miller. So the tides turn and the new face of Hollywood is now Peppy Miller. We see over the course of time how the relationship between the two matriculates as they both fight for their careers and fall in love in the process!
We see the talents of James Cromwell, as Clifton, the hired help of George Valentine. Malcolm McDowell, the extra/bit player. As well as the amazing job of veteran John Goodman, Al Zimmer, the classic, stereotypical movie studio executive of the era as he and George Valentin quest for greatness and success in the world of movies! A brilliantly put together cast!
This is a silent picture, as if it were spit out directly from 1927 itself, and it fits right in in it's own new 2011 way! So with this being a silent film, the music of the picture has to carry your film as it's one of the MAIN characters of the story and The Artist never fails to deliver in this category! So composer, Ludovic Bource, who passed up a lot of big budget, important work to score this film made a wise career move, as movies like this just don't come around that often. A movie that can stand the test of time and can easily be called one of the best of the decade! Utilizing the talents of the greatest composer of all time in my opinion, Bernard Herrmann, GENIUS!! I was in tears when I heard his famous music from the greatest score ever composed used in The Artist! That scene alone speaks volumes more than most movies that come around!
The art of cinema just took a giant leap forward in the battle of quantity vs. quality. Money just doesn't matter when you see such quality of filmmaking at its finest!
The Artist ... the BEST movie ... of the year!
Musical, 100 Minutes, PG-13
Written & Directed By: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell