Monday, February 27, 2012

At the Movies: The Artist

As I mentioned last week the hubby and I went to see The Artist which we both absolutely adored. The Artist tells the story of George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) a silent movie start who struggles to make the  transition to talkies.

While George's star is fading, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), a young dancer who breaks out of the crowd of reporters and kisses George on the cheek at his premier, is on the rise. The newspapers are filled with stories trying to find out just exactly 'Who's that Girl?'

George gives Peppy here big break (and signature beauty spot) on the set of his next movie and she soon becomes a big movie star but she never forgets George or the spark between them.

My favorite scene (except maybe the one with George's adorable Jack Russell) is the tap dance scene at the end of the movie with George and Peppy. The scene was filmed in the same studio that Debbie Reynold and Gene Kelly used for Singing in the Rain and perfectly encompasses the feel of these old time movies. There is almost an air of Fred and Ginger about it.

The most stunning thing about the movie is that it is filmed in black and white and is almost entirely silent except for the odd snippets of sound highlighting the fact that while the world around him has become a noisy place George still can't find his voice.  The film was visually stunning having been filmed in exaclty the style of an old black and white silent movie with no zoom in shots and in a 1.33:1 "Academy ratio,"  but would likely been a flop without the amazing performances from the leads.

Jean Dujardin absolutely envisages the role of male lead in a silent movie. His extensive facial expressions and caddish charm make the movie and even in moments of great vulnerability he expresses his emotions so well without uttering a single word and Bérénice Bejo is simply perfect as the quirky young up and coming actress.

I implore you to go and see the movie which put simply is stunning and deserves every award it gets. In the meantime here the trailer:

P.s for all you fashionistas the 1920's style flapper gowns that Peppy wears in the movie can be bought from Leluxe Clothing

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