Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Movie review: The Artist
One of the things I loved about it (which reminded me of Wall-E) was the way it expected things of us, the audience. Most movies today tell us everything - oh, there might be a few surprises, but they're expected surprises, surprises within the story. They're not surprises about the movie itself, rather twists and turns in the story.
This movie constantly surprised me. I knew a fair bit about it from reviews and a terrific article in the New Yorker so I thought I knew what to expect. And I did, on a surface level.
What I didn't expect was the way I had to immerse myself into the movie - not just the story but the way that story was told.
And, honestly? It was brilliant.
The acting is better than good and some of the smaller parts - John Goodman and James Cromwell, for example - are lovely, funny and emotionally intense. But the two French actors who carry the show - Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo - are extraordinary. Every expression conveys a thousand words, every movement made me feel as if I was watching the perfect version of Swan Lake, where the tiniest movements were choreographed to perfection.
The concept of the silent movie is carried out with charm and grace and verve. The allusions to other movies are pitch perfect, especially if you're a fan of black and white movies. The music is unfamiliar and familiar at the same time - just what you'd expect from a silent movie.
This is one of those movies I'm going to see again and again and I can hardly wait for the next time.