The Artist (2011) – Film Review
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
by Dan Berlinka
Though there are inevitable echoes of earlier movies in this territory (A Star is Born, Singin’ in the Rain), The Artist goes beyond mere homage. It genuinely revisits storytelling with pictures.
With the coming of sound, a silent film star sees his career decline, while that of a starlet rises. The lead performances of Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo are delightful. They are backed by the reassuring presence of James Cromwell and John Goodman in support.
In the absence of dialogue the score has to work overtime – which it does, beautifully. The unstinting attention to detail makes this an utterly joyous experience. Anyone who ever believed that films were once touched by magic will not want to miss this.
“Beautiful cinematic fable”
Nonetheless, The Artist should appeal be to a wider audience than just arthouse-beard-strokers. It’s probably an excellent date movie. It’s also a great alternative for families who want a break from wisecracking animals. Although there is a superb turn by canine actor, Uggie.
A beautiful cinematic fable that’s also a love letter to a lost art.