The Artist review

Stephen Daldry
Jean Dujardin
Berenice Bejo
John Goodman
James Cromwell
Rated: PG-13

This film, takes audiences back to the 1920s in every way possible. Not only is the story told about an actor in this time period, it’s also shot and stylized the exact way that a silent film would be in that time. The film follows George Valentin (Dujardin), a major actor with great success in the silent era of film-making.

Things take a turn for his career, though, as films with sound begin to be released and new movie stars, including a beautiful girl he once worked with, Pepper Miller (Bejo), take the spotlight away. This starts a downward spiral for not only Valentin’s career, but his life in general.

“The Artist” is a film that is truly enjoyable on all levels. The story is not only humorous and very easy to get into, it’s also a concept that’s accessible to everyone. What happens to George in the film happens all through out history when new technologies come to the surface and some of the previous era are unfortunately left behind.

It was clear that this film wasn’t just a regular movie transferred to black and white and made silent. It was shot and set up exactly how a film would be made back in that time period. This was an impressive move by director Stephen Daldry, and it pays off in a major way. Looking back on the film, it couldn’t have been told any other way. Try doing this as just a regular modern film, and it would have lost its charm.

The acting is great and lovable. Jean Dujardin is stellar as George, he breathes so much life into the character. We understand where George is at emotionally every moment of the film. He is probably the most likable character in some time, it’s hard not to be on his side.

The same can be said about Bejo as Peppy. The character was really well done and Bejo gives the character a confident and at the same time sweet persona. The supporting cast was nice too, stars like John Goodman and James Cromwell fit in well and added to the overall enjoyment.

The film is also very humorous, having many great gags in a majority of scenes. Not one of them feels cheap at all and each one gave me a laugh. Once again, the whole cast came through great on delivering the comedic moments.

Seeing “The Artist” is a phenomenal experience, and something that doesn’t come along often. The story is already great and the characters are already lovable, however it was the way it was made so authentically that pushes it up to the top ranks of 2011 films. 5 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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