Film was born in France, but it found its feet in Hollywood. So it’s almost poetic that The Artist is a French film that pays homage to the golden years of Tinseltown. George Valentin is the star of silent comedy and helps nurture the talent of up and coming heart-throb Peppy Miller. But the advent of the “talkie” chimes the death of his career whilst the young, but not ungrateful Miller sails into stardom. What follows….. I’m not saying. You’ll have to watch it! To be frank, if you’re unlikely to see this film , then you have no business reading this blog or even considering yourself a fan of film!
Never before have I felt so adament that a film deserves heavy recognition at the Oscars than this film. It’s brilliant. But here’s the problem. I’m worried that to pick out any specific aspect of this film for praise, adoration and recognition would be to suggest that other parts of it didn’t make the mark. Nothing could be further from the truth. This film is a collaborative effort of epic proportion. From the dog trainer to the extra at the very back. It was all fantastic. So to pick it apart, either in criticism here or for award recognition will inevitably be to the detriment of other aspects, surely?.
Is this film just a homage? Or is it also a reminder of the basics of cinema? Unlike the current checklist for Hollywood films there was no violence, colour grading, sex-scenes, swearing, fast edits, special fx etc… Instead it used limited dialogue (using intertitles like you would have in a silent movie), tableau shots, melodrama and a simple interesting story, to name just a few of it’s features. In Hollywood, the winning formula has become exactly that. A formula. It’s regurgitated without understanding or development, followed to the letter like a patented franchise. No soul, no love, no passion. Hollywood will love this film about Hollywood. It’s like a breathe of fresh air. Yet it’s not a Hollywood film. Enough said.