Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Artist

Year: 2011
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Writer: Michel Hazanavicius
Genre: Comedy, Romance

The Artist walked out of the Oscars with a boat load of awards, and with good reason. It's a wonderfully solid and fun film. It brings us back to a cinematic experience that is purely joyful to experience and not bogged down by excessively complex plots of multi-million dollar effects. If you haven't had the pleasure of watching it yet then that's highly suggested, although all the praise its received may dampen your own perception of it a bit.

For me, it was a solid picture. However, I wish it had done something more creative or daring. You might say that releasing a silent film in this age is daring, and it is in a way. However it certainly isn't the only modern silent film out there. Many other indie films have employed the same effect and many others will continue to do so in the future. They just don't happen to garner so much acclaim with the general public.

Now, what is it about this film that I don't exactly appreciate? Well, I don't know, maybe it's better to go over what was good first. The acting was solid and in a way it definitely out does the old silent films. It manages to tell a story and get dialogue across without forcing characters to overact too far. It mostly falls within the realms of modern acting, just with a little extra to make sure the viewer understands. The story is cute too: A silent film star finds himself unwilling and unable to compete with the new-fangled talking movies.

What I didn't enjoy was the fact that this movie plays it so entirely safe. Yes, it's a silent film but you don't have to place a silent film in the set of the era where they were popular. It would be much more impressive to me to see a movie taking place in our "current world" done silently. There's no reason that you have to stick it in one specific era just because that's where it originated. I also don't really appreciate the romanticizing of cheating, but of course that's common for many films. It just seemed a bit more out of place here because, to me, initially the interactions between the husband and wife seemed to be relatively happy ones.

So that's my two cents about The Artist. It's great fun and will probably make a lot of average film fans feel cultured. Hopefully it ushers other filmmakers to try their hands at something different.

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