Jan 15, 2013

Movie Review: The Artist, by Michel Hazanavicius

The Artist begins with a movie premiere starring George Valentin, the superstar of silent movies and always dressed impeccably. Outside the premiere while interacting with the media, George has a sudden encounter with a female fan. Enter Peppy Miller, the bubbly, flirtatious and good hearted lady. From here on, their destiny reverse roles. George, constantly opposed to talking, berates the new age of cinema, the talkies and Peppy Miller, slowly rises up in the industry, becoming a superstar of the talkies. After the professional and personal downfall, depressed, George has a near death experience and Peppy takes care of him. Still, George remains averse to her affection due to his own pride and stubborn head. George tries committing suicide and Peppy saves him again. This time however, George agrees to doing a musical with Peppy and finally sound comes into the movie. As the scene finishes, one can hear the only audible line of George "With pleasure !" in his strong French accent.

Watch out for the scenes of George with his pet and buddy, Uggie, who stars with him in all silent movies. The chemistry of George and Peppy in his dressing room, drawing a beauty spot on her. During a dance sequence in which Peppy is an extra but both ruin the shot every time they look into each other's eyes. Also when George has broken up with his studio and is going down the stairs, meeting Peppy on her way up entering the studio as their fresh face. This scene is symbolic of their respective careers at that time.

The Artist is a tribute to the silent movie era and shows how much could be emoted with silence.


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