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The Artist: A Silent Film for the 21st Century

Summary
[Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!]
Meet silent movie star George Valentin. He’s talented, popular, full of himself and really good at ticking people off. Now meet Peppy Miller. She’s young, beautiful, and talented, but undiscovered. Watch as Peppy gets a minor role in one of George’s movies. They bump into each other and a friendship is formed. But tragedy strikes. Even as Peppy climbs the ladder to success, George is on the way down. Talkies are in, and the movie-makers need fresh faces for the revolution in film-making. Then, to make matters worse, the stock market crashes, George’s wife divorces him and he loses all his opulent possessions. Unwanted by the fickle market that created him, the star is reduced to a small flat, unable to pay his butler or even buy liquor. Deciding to re-watch some of his films, George gets angry and depressed, ends up setting fire to the films and the flat. He is rescued from the flames by a policeman, summoned by his faithful dog. Peppy takes him in and cares for him. While she is trying to get him a part in her next movie, he discovers she bought all his possessions at the auction and had hidden them away. With injured pride George storms out of the house and back to the smoke blackened flat, where he wants to end it all. Peppy realizes what’s happening and rushes to the flat, arriving just in time to stop George from pulling the trigger. She persuades him they can work through his problems, and they return to the house. Peppy and George are then shown making a tap-dancing film together, and all ends well.

Review
My Rating: PG
My Stars: ?????-Loved it!
My Recommended Age for Watching: 11
A silent black-and-white picture for the 21st century! The Artist won five Academy Awards, being the first silent film to grace the Oscars with a top prize win since 1929, which is also the era the movie opens in.
I was particularly impressed with the Citizen Kane-esque angles and brilliantly paced music. Having never seen a silent film before, The Artist was a unique experience. At first it was hard to follow, but as the story progressed I found myself reading the actors lips more easily, and not having to puzzle it out in-between main scenes. The intertitles (the cards with words on them that would show up in between scenes) were masterfully placed for maximum impact. They were basically the movie-makers shoving the script under your nose saying, “Look! See this? It’s important, pay attention!” The music was also amazing. It built emotion better than any dialogue. That being said, I wonder what this movie would be like with sound, although there are a few words at the end, and some sounds throughout the movie. (I won’t spoil it, you’ll have to watch it for yourself.)
All in all, I found The Artist well-paced, masterfully filmed and fascinatingly written. Personally I would rate it PG, only because an actress gives another character the middle finger near the beginning, and the scene where George almost commits suicide is a bit intense. I recommend it to all of you, and hope you will find it as enjoyable as I did.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

VagialenaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 11:27 am:
Really nice review! Well done! I really enjoyed the movie, too. All in all, it was something different but totally worthy!
 
PotterWhoLockedThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
today at 8:19 pm :
Thanks! My thoughts exactly!
 
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