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  1. #1

    Film: The Artist

    It truly is remarkable. Takes about five minutes to get used to the silent aspect but it's great fun. The French leads are marvelous; actually all the acting is superb.
    Good story, moves along and holy smokes, John Goodman must have dropped about 100 lbs (even though he still needs to lose another 100.) Costumes are wonderful, too.
    Big screen far better than Netflix.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezie View Post
    It truly is remarkable. Takes about five minutes to get used to the silent aspect but it's great fun. The French leads are marvelous; actually all the acting is superb.
    Good story, moves along and holy smokes, John Goodman must have dropped about 100 lbs (even though he still needs to lose another 100.) Costumes are wonderful, too.
    Big screen far better than Netflix.
    Sadly, I partially disagree.

    I thought there were some truly wonderful moments in The Artist -- among the finest moments on film in the past half-dozen years. But, I felt there were also some dull moments and that the plot moved along at both a predictable and slow pace for much of the film. The characters and the story lacks a lot of nuance, probably because it is really hard to develop nuance when you cannot talk.

    I found the lead character to be not all that great a guy. Yes, he is charming, but he is also incredibly vain and prideful. If it was not for his cute dog loving him, I would have had trouble liking him very much. The dog steals the movie, which is not a good thing. The movie never really explains why the male and female leads fall for each other aside from "love at first sight," which is complicated by the fact that the film has to break up a marriage to get them together. Her obsession with him is kinda creepy if you think about it too much. I have no idea what the message of the film was as "The Artist" acts like a jerk much of the film and does nothing to redeem himself in the eyes of the audience.

    And yet, despite my criticisms and the fact that I yawned at least 3 or 4 times during the second half of the picture, I found myself smiling and then applauding at the ending (which is simply delightful). This is a good film, maybe even a very good one, but I don't think it is a great picture. It has moments, amazing ones, and I think it represents the kind of cinematic art that Oscar loves, which will make it a strong Oscar contender. But, if we are to look at it as entertainment, not art, then I think it is not nearly as special.

    I did enjoy the totality of this film's decision to re-create the silent film era. It is shot in old 1.33:1 aspect ratio, not the typical 1.85:1 or even 2.39:1 that we typically see in movies today. It even runs credits before the film starts, again the way they did things back in the early years of Hollywood.

    It is a bit like Hugo -- a beautifully made film about a magical time in cinematic history. But, as a piece of mainstream entertainment, they both come up a tad short of magnificence. I appreciated what I saw... but I have been entertained better in many other movies this year. Then again, maybe is it not always the job of a film to entertain. Maybe making art and stretching the boundaries of how we tell stories is more than enough. I dunno... I am just a sucker for actually enjoying every moment I am in the theater which is most certainly not what all movies are about.

    And, yes, I am being really hard on it because I had hoped to see something truly transcendent. It is better that 95% of the films I saw this year, but I really, really wanted it to be the best film of the year... and it wasn't.

    -Jason "I know I am pretty much alone among critics in daring to say The Artist is less than perfect, so maybe I am just a poor judge of this film" Evans
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

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