Movies I Slept Through – The Artist

“The Artist” has less color than the 1952 Hickory basketball team.

“The Artist” is the story of George Valentin(Jean Dujardin), a prominent silent movie star who is handsome and charming. He’s the tits of the town and kind of a dick about it. One night, after hamming it up at a movie premiere, he bumps into an exceptionally adorable young woman who poses with him as the press snap photos.

The woman turns out to be Peppy Miller(Bérénice Bejo), a young dancer and actresses who is just starting in the business.  At another chance meeting, George saves her from being fired; ultimately giving her the first break as an actress.

The main conflict comes when George’s film producer(John Goodman) introduces him to talkies. George laughs in his face because, remember, he’s kind of a dick. He’s essentially laughing in the face of the guy who came up with the idea for microchips and saying, “Piss off. Punch Cards Forever!” George refuses to accept the new medium and sits by to watch talkies and Peppy Miller grow in popularity.

The not-so-secret star of “The Artist” is Uggie, the dog. I’m willing to say that this movie would be near unwatchable if the dog wasn’t involved. Unless you spent your childhood maiming and killing small animals(in which case, you’re probably a sociopath of some sort and should really get that checked out), you’ll be completely mesmerized by Uggie. So mesmerized, in fact, that you’ll be tricked into thinking you’re super artistic and really loving Michel Hazanavicius’s delightful, nostalgic playfulness.(I kid, I kid)

I was a little skeptical going in to watch “The Artist”. From the outside, it seems like it’s going to be work.

“Hey, do you want to see a silent film about a prideful man’s refusal to accept the changing world around him?”

“Uhh”

“There’s a cute dog in it.”

“Ok.”

It actually isn’t a lot of work. It’s compelling and often quite funny. The humour is classic.(So classic, in fact, I felt the need to spell it all weird like that.) You won’t roll in the floor laughing, but it’ll make you smile. Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo both give great performances. Jean’s character often comes off as a jerk, but when he smiles, it makes you smile. If given a choice between Uggie and Bérénice Bejo for an adorable companion, I’d ultimately choose Bérénice, but only because of life expectancy.

“The Artist” is a fun and touching look at a bygone era. It seems intimidating on the surface, but quickly breaks the ice and leads to a nice story. I did get a bit yawny toward the end, but that may be a result of our ultra awesome constant stimulation society. Regardless, “The Artist” gets a Coffee.

Suggestion: If you liked “The Artist” check out last year’s animated silent film “The Illusionist“. It’s just as adorable with some similar themes.