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The Artist (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] Reviews

The Artist (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]

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The Artist (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy)  [Blu-ray]

The Artist is a love letter and homage to classic black-and-white silent films. The film is enormously likable and is anchored by a charming performance from Jean Dujardin, as silent movie star George Valentin. In late-1920s Hollywood, as Valentin wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion, he makes an intense connection with Peppy Miller, a young dancer set for a big break. As one career declines, another flourishes, and by channeling elements of A Star Is B

The Artist (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]

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  1. Wileyboy "The Eclectic Film Hero"

    April 5, 2012 at 9:22 am

    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Artist: Brilliance Made to Look Easy, March 30, 2012
    Wileyboy “The Eclectic Film Hero” (South Carolina) –

    It is a masterful movie-maker who can take a simple story (much less a silent one) and captivate an audience. That “The Artist” is so straight-forward is itself a tribute to the old adage that any story can capture the imagination, it just must be true to the soul. The genius here is that you are totally drawn into this world in near totality by the expressions on the actors’ faces. It belies the fact that the silent film is indeed a lost art and we are fortunate to have it re-introduced to the main-stream in such a glorious fashion.

    But first things first, this is *not* a stodgy, stick-in-the mud film. “The Artist” is at times laugh-out-loud, and then is equally engrossing as an emotional hay-maker. If you are expecting a dull yawn-fest, go see the latest CGI-laden summer film. But if in the the best sense you want to be captivated by a film, see “The Artist”.

    Without any giveaways, the story here involves an aging film star who is being left behind by the rise of the sound-age of film. Right behind him is a rising starlet who is excelling in the sound age. It is their story to tell: his from the perspective of the slide down and hers from the climb up. There is great supporting work as well, including a delightful little doggy who is essentially the side-kick to our hero. But it is lead actor Jean Dujardin who rightly “steals” the picture with his breath-taking emotional range.

    Also a delight are the little scenes we as an audience identify with as true-isms: the bits of film magic that stick with you long after you leave the theater. The rising starlet using our hero’s jacket in a pantomime, reflecting her awe and love of him, is the perfect example. But what tops it all in my mind are those moments where “The Artist” blends old-fashioned movie staples into itself and makes you want to cheer, though you know it’s been done a thousand times before. An example being the aforementioned doggy as hero at one point. It is this homage to old films that makes you smile – the director is so skillful at it, he creates his own legitimate, unique and praise-worthy old-Hollywood world without it feeling stale in the least. In fact, it is as refreshing to watch as anything else you will see this year or any other.

    “The Artist” is the best of what movies should be: good storytelling that makes it look easy.

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  2. M. Bullions "Matt Mayhem"

    April 5, 2012 at 8:39 am

    13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Artist: An effortless classic…, March 31, 2012
    M. Bullions “Matt Mayhem” (Anywhere, USA) –

    I respond to hype involving movies in a variety of different ways. If I get all excited about a film months before its release, I often find myself being disappointed with the film’s final product. I saw a trailer for “The Artist” months back, and didn’t think much of it, because I didn’t know much about it. I had seen reviews and award acclaim for Michel Hazanavicius’s “The Artist”, and wanted to give it a shot. On account of the limited theatrical release that the film got, I found myself venturing toward the bad part of town the night before it happened to win the Golden Globe for best picture, and oh, was it worth it.

    “The Artist” is everything you could possibly want it to be. The story isn’t anything revolutionary or surprising, but it really doesn’t have to be. In case you have somehow not heard of this film yet, it is a silent film that is set in 1927, at the height of the silent movie era. It follows George Valentin, an actor who has had a great deal of success in silent film. The film follows the years where the film industry is moving into “talkies”, where he finds his success is dwindling. He falls hard for Peppy Miller, an actress who is just breaking into the business. This story lasts over the span of maybe ten years.

    While up until now, Hollywood has widely forgotten about the silent film era, the style of the film feels kind of experimental to a moviegoer of my generation. The film is a beautiful love letter to this period of film which we all have forgotten about. It makes me think that actors, writers, directors…everybody had to work a lot harder in that generation. It’s hard to write a universally appealing story with no dialogue.

    Style is a big deal, camera angles, and lighting are critical. I’m glad this one was released after I took my first Film Studies course at college, because there’s a good chance a film like this would have slipped through my fingers otherwise. I learned about the silent film era, and found that there were twice as many flops as there were hits, in those days. This film could not have worked in those days, since it is clearly about the silent film era. However, I appreciate the little hidden history lesson that this film offered.

    In a film with no dialogue, actors have to have very expressive faces, they have to be able to emote, which is also something that a wide amount of today’s actors and actresses have forgotten how to do. Jean Dujardin’s George Valentin is wonderful. His infectious smile is a big reason why the film works. It’s the same deal with Berenice Bejo. The two actors have phenomenal chemistry, and that’s enough to carry this, even if it were a bad film.

    Like I said, this film’s storyline is nothing new. It’s the classic story of the Hollywood big cheese who helps the beautiful young starlet in her rise to fame. The film works because it’s a story that can be shown in any country, in any language, and it would still be relevant. It’s universal in a way that I didn’t expect. The film doesn’t use the titles that silent films are known for too much. There are titles, but they are used sparingly, only when they need it. That was a very good thing. For a film that’s so strictly about filmmaking technique, being shot in glorious black and white, with a 4×3 aspect ratio, it’s quite affecting. I give most of the credit to the actors, the extraordinary musical score by Ludovic Bource, and the direction. This was clearly a labor of love, and it pays off in a big way.

    Grade: A

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