Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Artist

This year's Best Picture winner was the silent film The Artist.  I haven't seen enough of the nominees this year to make a decision over whether or not it was the right choice, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It was clever and "artsy" without being too out of reach.  I can see why it will never be a blockbuster hit, and that's alright.  Not every movie should be a blockbuster.  How dull would that be?

My favorite parts where those where the film almost became self-aware; George's dreams about suddenly getting caught in a "talkie" and his fixation on the cop's moving lips come to mind.  I suppose "meta" could be the right term here.

I can't say the film was subtle, exactly--then again, what silent film is?  The opening lines of the movie included its silent star proclaiming that he'll never talk--words that become more and more significant as the film goes on.  He and his wife can't ever communicate.  His strongest relationship is with his dog, and even that never requires speaking.  His film audience loves him, and he never says a word to them.  Even the film posters ("The Thief of his Heart" and "Guardian Angel," for example) reflected what was going on on screen.  While the film never quite spells out the subtext, the subtext resonates pretty strongly throughout.

 Still, I recommend the film.  It was emotional and evocative, artistic without being overbearing, and featured a very strong lead performance from its Best Actor Jean Dujardin.  Thumbs up.

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