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The Artist

( 5 )

Overview

Michel Hazanavicius' stylistically daring, dialogue-free comedy-drama The Artist stars Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, a matinee idol in Hollywood before the dawn of talkies. His marriage is far from perfect, and one day he meets ambitious chorus girl Peppy Miller Bérénice Bejo and is smitten. Very quickly thereafter, sound comes to movies, and George sinks all his money into one last epic silent film, while Peppy becomes a star in the new era. John Goodman co-stars as the head of the film studio working with ...
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Overview

Michel Hazanavicius' stylistically daring, dialogue-free comedy-drama The Artist stars Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, a matinee idol in Hollywood before the dawn of talkies. His marriage is far from perfect, and one day he meets ambitious chorus girl Peppy Miller Bérénice Bejo and is smitten. Very quickly thereafter, sound comes to movies, and George sinks all his money into one last epic silent film, while Peppy becomes a star in the new era. John Goodman co-stars as the head of the film studio working with Valentin. The Artist played at both the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
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Special Features

Blooper reel; The Artist: the making of an American romance; Q&A with the filmmakers and cast; Hollywood as a character: the locations of the Artist; The artisans behind the Artist featurettes
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Writer/director Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist manages the trick of being both fearlessly loyal to an era of cinema that's long since passed and one of the few original motion pictures of its own time. The movie stars Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, one of Hollywood's biggest stars of the silent era. Although he's stuck in a less-than-passionate marriage, he's lucky enough to be surrounded by adoring fans, a loyal assistant James Cromwell, and his devoted pet dog. George soon makes the acquaintance of aspiring actress Peppy Miller Bérénice Bejo, and eventually they shoot a short scene together for his new movie. But then Al Jolson makes The Jazz Singer, and seemingly overnight George can't land a role, while Peppy Miller becomes the toast of Tinseltown. In desperation, George sinks his personal savings into a grand adventure story that he believes will win back the audiences who have abandoned him. What sets The Artist apart from other showbiz rise-and-fall stories is that Hazanavicius, in honor of his main character, chose to shoot the film in black-and-white and without dialogue. Those idiosyncrasies will keep a great many moviegoers from thinking they'll want to see it, but it would be their loss, because for its first 45 minutes The Artist is a giddy, deliriously enjoyable cinematic experience. The jokes are fashioned to play to a modern audience, even if the techniques employed are as old-school as can be. Even the revelation early on that this will be a genuinely silent film comes in the form of a first-rate gag about performers waiting for an audience to erupt with applause. If there was ever a movie without a single line of spoken dialogue that could get nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, The Artist is it. The writing isn't the only award-worthy aspect of the movie. Dujardin won the Best Actor award at Cannes for his work here, and it's a rich, star-making turn. Flamboyant yet grounded, funny yet moving, charming yet vulnerable, Dujardin turns George into a good man befuddled by how quickly his comfortable existence slips away from him. The second half of the movie, when George struggles professionally and romantically, doesn't have the same comedic rush of the first half, but even as the film grows slightly repetitive, Dujardin carries things along with his boundless charm -- nobody's worn a Clark Gable moustache with this much panache since, well, Clark Gable. Tonally, the movie is just about flawless: Everybody is on the same comedic page, and one of the great joys of watching the film is seeing Hazanavicius' distinctive vision come to life with the help of inventive actors who all seem to know exactly how to modulate their performances. John Goodman plays the head of the movie studio, and his ample bulk is used to brilliant comedic effect especially when he gets upset. The movie does bog down slightly when it grows more dramatic, a fact that might have as much to do with how amazingly perfect the beginning of the movie is as it does with any particular faults about the more serious passages. It might be that movie lovers still return to the great silent comedians -- Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd -- because there's something about their dialogue-free tomfoolery that transcends time and cultural changes. The same can't be said for the vast majority of dramas from that period. Sure, Sunrise and Intolerance are landmarks in the medium's development, but they don't hold the same kind of power over seasoned cinephiles as The Tramp and The Great Stone Face still do. But the second half of the movie also contains a brilliant comedic set piece involving George's pooch performing an act of bravery - it's a tremendous piece of "acting" from the little four-legged scene stealer. And the final scene delivers a payoff that makes you appreciate how well-thought-out the entire film has been from the very first frame. The Artist is great because it's funny, not because it requires any knowledge of film history to understand or because it breathes new life into a seemingly stale style. It's just a movie that's in love with movies, and if it doesn't put a smile on your face, then maybe you don't love them as much as you think you do.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/26/2012
  • UPC: 043396400276
  • Original Release: 2011
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: ABC
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 4,777

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean Dujardin George Valentin
Bérénice Bejo Peppy Miller
John Goodman Al Zimmer
James Cromwell Clifton
Penelope Ann Miller Doris
Missi Pyle Constance
Beth Grant Peppy's Maid
Ed Lauter Peppy's Butler
Joel Murray Policeman Fire
Bitsie Tulloch Norma
Ken Davitian Pawnbroker
Malcolm McDowell The Butler
Basil Hoffman Auctioneer
Bill Fagerbakke Policeman Tuxedo
Nina Siemazko Admiring Woman
Stephen Mendillo Set Assistant
Dash Pomerantz Peppy's Boyfriend
Beau Nelson Peppy's Boyfriend
Alex Holliday Guard
Wiley M. Pickett Guard
Ben Kurland Audition Casting Assistant
Katie Nisa Audition Dancer
Katie Wallick Audition Dancer
Hal Landon Jr. Napoleon
Cleto Augusto Set Technician
Sarah Karges Laughing Dancer
Sarah Scott Laughing Dancer
Maize Olinger Shouting Dancer
Ezra Buzzington Journalist
Fred Bishop Journalist
Stuart Pankin Director #1 (Restaurant)
Andy Milder Director #2
Bob Glouberman Director #3 (Finale)
David Cluck Assistant Director (Finale)
Kristian Falkenstein Actor In "The Brunette"
Matt Skoller Peppy's Assistant
Annie O'Donnell Woman With Policeman
Patrick Mapel Assistant With Newspaper
Matthew Albrecht Tennis Player
Harvey Alperin Doctor
Lily Knight Nurse At Peppy's House
Clement Blake Beggar
Tasso Feldman Zimmer's Assistant
Christopher Ashe Zimmer's Assistant
Adria Tennor Zimmer's Assistant
Cletus Young Bartender
Mark Donaldson Thug #1
Brian Williams Thug #2
Andrew Ross Wynn Big Dancer (Restaurant)
Jen Lilley Onlooker
Brian Chenoweth Onlooker
Uggy Uggy
Tim de Zarn Soldier
Technical Credits
Michel Hazanavicius Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Laurence Bennett Production Designer
Anne-Sophie Bion Editor
Ludovic Bource Score Composer
Mark Bridges Costumes/Costume Designer
James Canal Asst. Director
David Allen Cluck Asst. Director
Antoine De Cazotte Executive Producer
Daniel Delume Executive Producer
Segolene Fleury Production Manager
Kelcey Fry Makeup
Jenni Brown Greenberg Makeup
Julie Hewett Makeup
Gregory Scott Hooper Art Director
Michael Krikorian Sound Mixer
Thomas Langmann Producer
Jerome Lateur Musical Direction/Supervision
Heidi Levitt Casting
Richard Middleton Executive Producer
Lydia Milars Makeup
Emmanuel Montamat Associate Producer
Adam Mull Set Decoration/Design
Nadine Muse Sound Editor
Maha Saade Makeup
Guillaume Schiffman Cinematographer
Angie Wells Makeup
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2012

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    Silent Movie in Black & White

    The Artist is a monumental movie that won Best Picture at the Oscars this year. The last silent black and white movie that made it to the finals was perhaps "Wings," at the first Oscars in the late 20s. This movie was made by the French and shoot in LA in its entirety. The plot is basically interwoven with the whole picture itself. As its about a very popular movie star in the silent era, so the movie has to be presented in silence. And just as the movie's end should be the time of the talkies or the "new" movies with sound, a scene in the sound era starts with the silent male star dancing with music in background. The last scene was the only part in the movie that has sound. Over all, this movie is a true work of art!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2012

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    Stellar

    What a treat for lovers of cinema. This film is excellent proof that even in our ultra-modern era, the idea to present something as it was done almost 100 years ago can still be executed to perfection. The storyline, acting and music were all terrific but I thought the highlight was Berenice Bejo as Peppy Miller. Girls like that (both the actress and her character) are a very rare find. Superlatives like "stunning" and "radiant" don't really do them justice. Having known two girls - both of them in their early 20s - who carry on the "old soul" image with Audrey Hepburn-like outfits and short hairstyles, I just think it's great that such personalities have been remembered on the silver screen. If you're passionate about film, you really need to see this!

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The most joyful film I've ever had the pleasure to see. George

    The most joyful film I've ever had the pleasure to see.

    George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is quite possibly the most famous silent movie star of the late 1920’s. Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) is a talented young dancer hoping to break in on the Hollywood scene. One day, in an incredible twist of fate, Valentin and Miller meet on set. Inevitably, sparks fly between the two as they create magic on screen. Their paths cross over the next several years, until the arrival of the “talkies” revolutionizes the film industry, sending their careers in completely opposite directions.

    There was a lot of talk about The Artist prior to its release. Critics raved about it. It swept the Oscars winning a total of five Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Director and the crème de la crème—Best Picture. In an interesting side note, it’s the only silent film to take home the award for Best Picture in Oscar history, like ever. So with all the hype, was the movie even worth it? There’s only one answer to that question… YES.

    Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a silent film. I have and I have to say, they are a lost art. There’s something so beautiful about their way of storytelling—it’s poignant and meaningful, much more so than many of the movies produced today. And don’t let the “silent” part fool you. “Silent” is sort of a misnomer because it’s not like these movies are without sound. There are sound effects that echo strategically behind a masterfully crafted score. It’s these sound effects and music that set the mood for the audience, helping to tell a huge part of the story. Being filmed in classic silent film fashion, 1.33:1 aspect ratio, Hazanavicius has kept the true feel of that bygone era, allowing the viewer to really experience the film as it should be experienced. What we’re given is a collection of whimsical moments that rely on showing instead of telling. It becomes very clear that showing is one of Hazanavicius’ strongest suits.

    When you have a silent film, I think the most important thing of all is creating chemistry. Without chemistry between the actors, you have nothing but jumble of random events. The chemistry that Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo share on screen is undeniably strong, perhaps because of their work together on prior films. Dujardin exudes total charm and charisma, and Bejo, nothing but grace and enthusiasm. They move together with so much skill and flair, I could hardly pry my eyes away from the screen. They are completely mesmerizing. And with cameos by John Goodman, James Cromwell and Penelope Ann Miller, you’re hard pressed to find a more talented cast of characters. But the irrefutable scene stealer of this movie is Valentin’s precious pooch, Jack (aka Uggie). Seriously. Who can resist that face? Yes. I do mean to say, the dog stole the show. But what I find most impressive about this film was the way it made me feel. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much when I’ve watched a movie before. The Artist was compelling, endearing, funny, sad and wistful. It made me hope, laugh, smile and cry. Like it or not, this film latches on to your heartstrings and won’t let go. There is nothing you can do but surrender yourself to its magic and be genuinely happy that you’re along for the ride. Michel Hazanavicius has created something truly extraordinary, and like the silent movies of the past, something that is sure to become a classic for all time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    This movie was a wonderful treat to watch. Going into the movie

    This movie was a wonderful treat to watch. Going into the movie I had low expectations but was so happy that I took the time to watch it. The cinematography was beautiful and reminded me of why I watch movies. The music went right along with the movie and brought you to tears or smiles depending on what the scene was about. The actors were great in the movie too, including the dog. I thought the story was right on spot on the situation that was happening when silent movies were ending and talkies were strarting to be made. I would recommend this movie to anyone who can appreciate when cinematography, music, and acting comes together the right way. Enjoy!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews