Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Artist (2011)

It was a surprise to know a b/w silent movie could win the Best Picture award at the Academy Awards. I myself often think how they don't make good pictures as before, so it is a good thing that this tribute to silent movies era has collected so many awards. Not many dialogues in The Artist, and I feel pity to the writers who always in want of inspirations to write flowered dialogues. Not that I care much about good dialogues because 1) my English is not that good. I only pick up the essential meaning. 2) I prefer good plots over good dialogues.

I find it hard to take Jean Dujardin seriously after watching Lucky Luke, OSS 117 and Brice de Nice. I was amazed to know that he won the Academy Awards for Best Actor. I know he is a wonderful actor, but everytime I see him on screen, he is always funny; that it sounds like a joke that he won the Best Actor award :-) since usually the awards go to serious drama actors.
Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin (a tribute to Rudy Valentino?). The movie begins in 1927 in Hollywoodland, when silent movies era ends. The stubborn Valentin insists to stay in the silent movie business, and as a result, his fans and his wife leave him. When the stock market crash in 1929, he lost his fortune. Meanwhile, Peppy, a young actress who once an extra in his movies, begins to step a ladder of success in talking movies. Peppy tries to help Valentin, who is too proud to receive any help. Another character worth to be mentioned is the dog, which is almost as smart as Luke the dog in Buster Keaton's films.

I think it's rather unbelievable that George Valentin's fans desert him that soon. I get an impression that he is a warranty for box office in the beginning of the movie. People come to the theatre to see him. When talking movies era begins, his movie producer replaces him with new faces; and since then only a few people come to the theatre to watch a movie he stars, produced and directed. Charlie Chaplin still made a silent movie in 1931 (City Lights) and it was a success.