We are almost at the end of the long wait to see who is going to take home the awards from the 2012 Oscars. I have enjoyed writing this series of blogs and this will be my last movie review in the series.
I will follow this up with a predictions post. I have my favourites as I am sure you will have aswell and I want to share what I think should and probably will win. For now though here is my review of the biggest hitter and the one everyone is – **cough** – “talking” about, The Artist.
To be honest with you, I never thought I would find myself sitting down to actually watch this movie. Silent movies just aren’t my thing and probably will never be again. However, Michel Hazanavicius‘ brave and bold movie has been recognised for a hatful of statues from pretty much every awards ceremony this year. So far it has taken home 69 awards and has this year been nominated for 10 Oscars, the second highest amount at this year’s awards behind Hugo.
Already highly successful, whatever happens on Sunday night will be irrelevant as this movie is going to be remembered for being something different in an era of movie making that is sometimes described as repetitive, mediocre and unwilling to experiment. The story is about George Valentin, a silent movie star played here by Jean Dujardin, who, when the invention of “talkies” comes about refuses to move with the times and basically gets left behind by the new way of making movies. His relationship with an up and coming leading lady – Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) – is an interesting one. After discovering Miller, it is her light that shines brighter as the silent movie era is ushered into the past and she becomes a huge star, taking Valentin’s place. The rest of the story focusses on his downward spiral into obscurity and her determination to try to help her idol.
The filming of this movie is very good and other actors such as John Goodman and James Cromwell certainly stand out. I think the big winner here though is the film’s main actor Jean Dujardin. He really is excellent in the movie and the on-screen chemistry between him and Berenice Bejo is very believable. It must be strange to do a movie of this style in the modern world, and I think they both deserve the nominations they have been given.
Despite being silent, it’s very easy to follow the story with the minimal use of the words on the screen and there are a few very clever scenes where the use of sound effects is the only thing we hear. I found the continual music in the movie off-putting and at times a tad over the top, but I know that is the whole point. The music tells the story and I get that, but that aspect wasn’t for me.
On the whole the plot was good, the film acted very well, but as a complete package, its one I could have left alone and not been too bothered about it. I can see why it has been a success though and I think it will be the big winner at The Oscars this weekend, not only because of the hype surrounding it, but also because of its willingness to be different. Personally I give it 6.5/10. Here is the trailer…