Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"The Artist" Review

                                   Best Picture? Right.... This is The Artist!

    The Artist is one of those films that come around ever now and again that becomes a surprise hit, wins a ton of awards, is liked by both critics and general audiences, even though the film itself is a little on the shallow side. The Artist is not, in my opinion, Best Picture of 2011. In fact, I'd have a hard time even putting this in my Top 10. Probably wouldn't even crack Top 15. You see, The Artist is all very nice and good, but it's missing something. Something big. And I'm not quite sure what that is. 
     The Artist is a black and white silent film following famed silent era actor George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) as his life starts to fall apart when "Talkies" start to take over the film industry. His producer (John Goodman) fires him, his wife (Penelope Ann Miller) leaves him and he falls for Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), the rising star of the Talkies. 

High five!
    On the surface, The Artist manages to create a very absorbing world. Director (Who won Best Director) Michel Hazanavicius does a great job recreating the look and feel of silent films. I'm not quite sure if he deserve to win Best Director, but he does a good job. Dujardin, though, did deserve Best Actor. He's fantastic in this film and is fun to watch. Without words, he conveys the same emotions any other talking actor could. Bejo also is very good. She's fun, interesting and overall a joy to watch.
    The problem arises when you look underneath the hood. Dujardin and Bejo are great separately, yet for some reason, the so-called love they have for each other never actually feels real. It's less we actually feel they love each other and more we're just told they do. And that's The Artist's problem. It's shallow. The whole thing looks nice, but there isn't much to be taken out of it. It's just kinda there. Ironically, the film might have been better had it lost it's gimmick. Had the film actually had sound, it probably could told a better story, had a more believable romance and even cut down on it overly-long length. 
    The film feels longer than it really is and there are unnecessary scene that just drag the runtime out. A man realistically can only hit rock bottom once. Valentin hits it at least three times over the course of the film. Speaking of Valentin, it's hard to root for him. His problems are mostly a result of his own stubbornness. He doesn't even seem to learn anything as the film ends. 

John Goodman's in this movie! He's awesome!
    The Artist is not Best Picture. It can best be described as a fake gold ring. Sure it looks pretty and those looking for gold will probably love it, but if you scratch the surface, you'll find a solid, yet most worthless center. The Artist isn't bad. It's just hollow. The Artist get 4 stars out of 6.

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