- Production Values
I’m going to come right out and say that The Artist is the best film of 2011, and I’m predicting it will win the Oscar. It’s a formula that must have scared the hell out of producers across Hollywood – it is a silent film and a black and white film and stars two actors unknown to American audiences (French actor Jean Dujardin and Argentinean actress Bérénice Bejo). It is also brilliant. Every frame is gorgeous, the story telling is wonderful, and the characters so appealing that you’ll have a smile on your face from the opening credit through to the closing credits.
Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, a star of the silver screen during the heyday of silent film. He’s established his own formula and plays a dashing hero in a series of adventure films. He views the introduction of “talkies” as a silly fad. Bérénice Bejo plays Peppy Miller, an ingenue with a mile wide smiles and dancing skills.
The supporting cast is also fine. Of particular greatness is Ugg, a Jack Russell Terrier that plays George’s best friend and constant companion. John Goodman is picture perfect as the studio head. Penelope Miller is George’s wife and James Cromwell is his assistant and chauffeur. The film is directed by French director, Michel Hazanavicius.
It’s a simple story – he’s on the way down and she’s on the way up, and their lives intertwine. The charm lies in the way it tells that story so clearly without dialogue using great acting, beautiful cinematography, and a great score by Ludovic Bource.
This is a must see for lovers of film.