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January 24, 2012

The Artist


Released in May 2011, this French film is a must see. That is, if you’re a film buff. It is daring; I mean it’s a silent black and white movie … in the 21st Century? I think director Michel Hazanavicius simply hit this one outta the ballpark! Oh yes, our trusty IMDB rates it at a whopping 8.5!

Although The Artist is billed as a silent film, in many ways it is not. But this doesn’t deter from making it a compelling film, at all. As you would expect it is black and white. I think purposely it is slightly out of focus to give it a vintage look. However, you’ll need a keen eye to notice it. To an extent it plays as a caricature but not only of silent films, but more so of modern day ones.

The cinematography is superb and I could almost taste elements of the Lumière Brothers, a.k.a. Auguste and Louis, in it. And if you wonder who they were, simply put, they were early inventors of modern cinema. There are so many camera angles, transitions, non-CGI special effects to boot. The props were excellent, particularly the voitures, ha-ha-ha vintage automobiles. Costumes and sets, all perfect. Some of these effects obviously came from the Film-Noir styles; think Rita Hayworth’s and Glenn Ford smoking hot 1946 film Gilda.

There are some heavy hitters as far as casting is concerned. You’ll recognize John Goodman and James Cromwell, both of whom exhibit marvelous performances. A few cameos such as Malcolm McDowell. By the way, Malcolm and the masterpiece film A Clockwork Orange will always go together in my mind.

But let’s talk about the unsung hero of the film: the soundtrack. It simply carries the movie. Without it, there would be no film. It is simply, as the French would say it: Elle est magnifique. It creates the mood, the excitement, the sorrow, the suspense, the thrill and all. In fact, I’ve got to get me a copy of them tunes, baby.

I have purposely avoided talking about the plot. Yeah yeah yeah I know. You could read it up but it won’t be from me, since I don’t want to spoil it for you, my dear reader. Don’t make the same mistake I made. I went to IMDB and looked up the movie and what’s more the reader’s reviews. By the way, I never bother with professional movie critics because many times they just sound like paid shills.

Anyways, I usually start reading comments from people that truly hated the movie and then work my way back to people that loved it. The haters had compelling arguments, so I was about to pass it up. But something told me that I needed to watch it anyhow. Not expecting much, mind you. Well I was happily surprised and hope that you’re too. Also, I think the ending will surprise you too.

Now, if you’re a chap and you have a lovely lady, why don’t you take her to the movies and better yet, get all dressed up … sort of like for dinner and dance, and then go paint the town red? And yes only the best bubbly for the lady will suffice. And if you’re a gal, why don’t you put on the charm and perhaps a flaming red tight sequin gown and take your hunk out to the movies?


PS. Check out the previews. By the way, notice that there is no voice-over in the previews either. And if you have already seen the movie and want to quip in here, by all means, do so.


Movie Trailer (2011)




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