The Artist’s Appeal

1. Ryan Gosling in The Notebook (2004) with Rachel McAdams
2. Rachel McAdams in The Vow (2012) with Channing Tatum
3. Channing Tatum in Haywire (2012) with Ewan McGregor
4. Ewan McGregor in Big Fish (2003) with Missi Pyle
5. Missi Pyle in The Artist (2011)

I was hesitant to finally see The Artist for many reasons. My biggest obstacle to seeing it so far had been 1) the immense hype surrounding it and 2) the fact that it wasn’t playing in town yet. Ever since the film premiered at Cannes in May, it has been talked about as one of the frontrunners for Best Picture this year. Was I even going to like it? No movie could meet the expectations that were being set for me. In fact, I was convinced that it was going to be gimmicky, and that’s it.

My biggest problem with the movie was that I liked it, but didn’t love it. There’s a lot to like in this 100-minute ode to silent films. Jean Dujardin is charming as hell as the eponymous silent movie star/artist, and I hope his new sex comedy Les Infedeles (trailer NSFW) comes to the states because I would be there.

The performances are all-around great, but that was something that I was  expecting. What I wasn’t expecting was the dark tone of the movie. I was anticipating a feel-good silent movie featuring a lot of jokes involving that dog (and my wishes came true).  Some of the darker moments were almost too grim for me and seemed a little abrupt in comparison to scenes where, for instance, a character is (adorably) hugging herself with her admirer’s suit jacket. You’ll understand when you see it.

Is The Artist the movie of the year? I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to hate on it. And the last scene alone is worth the price of a ticket (okay, maybe like 3/4 of a ticket).

The movie successfully avoids being gimmicky while at the same time taking full advantage of its gimmick. The Artist appeals to all audiences (literally, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t like this movie), so in movie-reviewing terms, this gets a “SEE IT” from me.


About Andrew Fillmore

31 / M / LA
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