The Artist (PG)

Written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius
FACT Picturehouse
On general release from 30th December 2011

Reviewed by Tom Bottle

If you fall for those old bedfellows, Schmaltz & Sentimentality, and their ever present friends Wistfulness & Yearning you’re gonna feel a warm glow all over and LOVE The Artist. In short, you will be charmed. Any combination of the above but not the full set and you’re gonna still feel good. None of the above and you’re a horse!

Silent movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is skippin’ the height of fame and doesn’t see that it’s all gonna come crashing down. The Talkies have arrived! It’s out with the woo for George and in with the woe. He tries to fight it making another silent flick but that just tells us George ain’t seein’ straight and is going down fast.

There’s a great three floor staircase shot of the Bradbury Building in L.A. which is a metaphor for the rest of the story. George, on his way down, runs into Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) on the way up. Cute, adorable, vivacious Peppy, who he once helped along the way and who is now the new starlet of tinseltown. Things change, I was on Easy Street once, I know.

A classic tale of redemption pans out as Peppy can’t bear to see George on his last pair of spats. She comes rushing to save him and they both tap out a blistering finale to Walter Hoegy and his Tin Ear Orchestra. Crazy dancin’, beaming smiles, the sheer syncopated magic of it all. Great stuff, and without turning round, like me, everyone in the dark has a big smile too.

If you didn’t know, Dujardin and Belo are stars of the silent movies, the audiences watching the film within the film are real and outside the stock market is going to crash like never before. Best see it while you can.

Printer friendly page

Sorry Comments Closed