To be quite honest this film hardly needs an introduction any more. Maybe a few months ago you wouldn’t have heard of The Artist but I can pretty much guarantee that most readers will have by now.
But, just in case you haven’t and, just because it’s impossible to write, well anything without an introduction, let me indulge you albeit only briefly. The Artist was released in America back in November and since then has become one of the most talked about films of 2011. With whispers of Oscar glory turning quickly into screams and three Golden Globes already pocketed only a few hours ago, including Best Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy, it has already become an instant classic.
Shot entirely in black and white and with a smaller screen ratio, this will bring you back to the days when film had more heart and soul, something which unfortunately has become less and less over the years. The film follows silent movie star George Valentin (Played by the brilliant Jean Dujardin) as he struggles to keep his fame alive along with silent movies as the film industry evolves with the introduction of ‘talkies’. The opening scene alone just shows you what to expect for the next 100 minutes as Valentin screams an unheard phrase followed by a title card revealing the words ‘I will not speak!’ and indeed he doesn’t.
Although this is essentially a love letter to silent film, it soon turns into a funeral for it as Valentin is surrounded by talkies overpowering the silent film industry. As he tries to stand his ground by branching out on his own to continue silent filmmaking, everybody else around him is moving forward with the talkies including Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) Hollywoods newest star whose big break was made, ironically, thanks to Valentin.
As the awards season officially began just under 24 hours ago with the Golden Globes and The Artist recieving 3 out of its 6 nominations it is almost sure to become an instant classic. The only worry with this is the chance of Hollywood reinventing the silent movie and no doubt killing this rightly under-used form of filmmaking.