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"The Artist"; a charming, whimsical, enchanted daydream of a bygone era of cinema....

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"The Artist" is a movie about the love of a forgotten era in movies (the silents); told in ways both personal and whimsical. The movie casts a spell over its audience. The lead actors (two relative unknowns I'd never seen before) were utterly fantastic. The actor playing "George Valentin" (Jean Dujardin) has charisma oozing from his pores, with a totally infectious smile (forgive the bromance crushing here but he was simply awesome!). He is sort of a Rudolph Valentino/Douglas Fairbanks Sr. hybrid; a charming matinee idol who, who along with his 'Rin-Tin-Tin'-like canine sidekick, are total masters of the silent domain.

The female lead is "Peppy Miller" (Berenice Bejo), a flapper-dancer who is able to make the transition from silent movies to 'talkies'; leaving her 'discover'/co-star/crush Valentin in the dust. What follows is a charming, touching and ultimately moving riches-to-rags, beautifully stylized story with a very real hearbeat at it's center. It's how technical progress often exacts a human cost for those who can't (or refuse) to follow (it's how I often feel in the Twitter/facebook age; which I simply refuse to partake in... blogging like this is as far as my Luddite-self goes :P ).

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"The Artist" truly casts a spell over the audience (no kidding; you could hear the audience breathing at times...). For a couple hours, you easily lose yourself in this meticulously crafted world with the seemingly fluid charisma of the leads. Supported by a strong veteran Hollywood cast (John Goodman, James Cromwell, Malcolm McDowell, etc) and a dreamlike, referential cinematography (many shots are composed as loving homages to real silent films; with homages to Lang, Murnau and Griffith, among others), "The Artist" is one of those rare movies that truly, effortlessly and enchantingly takes it's audience to another time and place. It was truly incredible; well worth any extra effort to see it (preferably on a big movie screen if possible).

"The Artist" is a charming, beautifully made tribute to a by-gone era of movies. It's reminds one of the charm of the medium of the moving picture; something very easy to forget in the Youtube, CGI, phone-camera video, multiplexing digital age. A throwback to an era and style so enchanting, it's almost a shame we had to leave it behind. But perhaps with "The Artist" we can still have our technological cake and eat it too...
;)

Five :cylonclap: s out of five :cylonclap: s.

4 Comments On This Entry

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Bill Icon

05 January 2012 - 07:18 AM
I don't go to the movies very often, but this one intrigues me.
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obsolete toaster Icon

05 January 2012 - 10:24 AM
It's worth going to the movies for. A lot of the magic of it will be lost on a TV screen...
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Captain Taurus Icon

06 January 2012 - 12:01 AM
Sounds like an Oscar performance from your review. I must go see this movie.
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obsolete toaster Icon

05 March 2012 - 09:04 AM
Best actor, Best picture and three other Oscars! Man, I can really pick 'em... ;-)
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