If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Set in Hollywood in the 1920's, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is an immensely popular silent film star. Upon exiting the premiere of his new hit film he accidentally bumps into Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) and the paparazzi catches it all. The two run into each other again on the set of George's next film where Peppy is hired as an extra, and they share a moment in George's dressing room. The next day George's boss takes him to screening of a new film and shows him how they can now put sound into films. George dismisses this new technology and says that the people are coming to see him not hear him. However soon it is announced that all productions will be stopped on silent films so that production companies can work exclusively with "talkies." George is forced to watch as his star slowly fades into obscurity as Peppy's finds light as a talkie film star.
The Artist is one of those rare films that can take a concept and execute it so well, that you forget what you are watching a modern picture. If it was not for a few actors I had seen in other films, somebody could have showed me this and had me believe it was from the silent film era. The actors themselves are wonderful with their characters and help bring the whole thing to fruition. The two leads have a great chemistry together as they constantly play off each other in the scenes they share, You really have to love the score here as it's mostly the only sound you hear throughout the entirety of the film. I will not deny that when Pennies From Heaven began to play I was singing along in the theater. The director is really one to be admired as the world and tone he helps create is an unforgettable one. Leave it to the French to give 1920's Hollywood such a fantastic homage while at the same time never treading too far inside. There are some flaws to be found however. While I can not point to any parts specifically that needed to be shortened, yet I did have a feeling near the end that the story was stretching on a little long. And while I did love the story and all the characters in it. I had this nagging in the back of my mind that kept saying, "Singing in the Rain 2: Silent Boogaloo." As the set up of both films have some similarities.
The Artist does what it set out to accomplish. Make a modern silent film that is just as entertaining and fun to watch as old films it so lovingly pays homage to. At times even more so. Full Price