Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Artist

This week the Artist remains at the top of the list for most likely to be nominated for Best Picture, increasing the fun factor that I was able to see it early in the season and not at Fox Tower. Emily scored screening passes for the Artist before Christmas last week and I am now getting around to blogging about the experience. While not movie specific but of note: Emily ran into to traffic and was not going to be able to join me in line prior to seating. As soon as I knew this was the case, I asked the couple in front of me in line if they would save my spot, they agreed and I mentioned that I was leaving my lunch bag in line. I hurried to the ladies and then to get my popcorn. As I was grabbing napkins, I noticed that the line was moving and they were seating earlier than usually. Well the nice strangers in front of me in line, not only carried my lunch bag in for me, but they saved me and Emily seats! They were not sure if I had someone coming or not, so they saved two spots. I had made my peace with loosing my place in line and it was such a wonderful surprise to have these sweet people be so kind. Now back to the movie...
The Artist is a silent film about two actors in the late twenties as the transition from the silent film era to talkies begins. The music in the film is excellent, which really is a necessity for a silent film. There are subtitle cards of dialogue. The story is simple and sweet with its fair share of drama but certainly not the darkness that can occupy many Oscar contenders. To quote Owen Gleiberman who I rarely agree with but here he perfectly sums up: "The Artist is delightfully old-fashioned, but it's also poppingly contemporary, with a puckish spark of self-awareness."

The director-writer of the movie and the two leads are French. Both the lead actors, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, seem to be of the era, their looks so fitting with the style and cinematography that you have to remind yourself, this film was made in 2011. Dujardin resembles Gene Kelly and the beginning of the story calls to mind the opening plot points of Singin' In the Rain. Dujardin is also near the top of the list of those most likely to be nominated for Best Actor.

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