|Image courtesy of film.com|
Well, the day after it won 3 Golden Globes, I went to watch The Artist at my local cinema (and, for a change, top marks to Empire Cinemas for actually having the good sense to show it and so save me a 30-mile trip to Stratford) and all I can say is if you have even a passing interest in silent films and the 1920s/30s then you simply must see this film.
The craftsmanship and love that went into making The Artist is obvious from the first frame and the highest praise I can think to give it is that, with the odd momentary exception, I felt as though I could have been watching an actual silent film from 1927. It was that good. The cinematography (and traditional 1.33:1 screen ratio), the music (one of the winning Globes, and deservedly so), the inter-titles, and perhaps most amazingly the acting itself was top notch - almost as if the last 83 years never happened.
But The Artist is so much more than just a silent film. The storyline, the characters - they all stand up to scrutiny and really help to make it more than the sum of its parts. In fact I'm a bit surprised to see it win a Globe for Best Musical or Comedy because, while there were laughs aplenty and cracking musical numbers, there was also real melodrama and romance.
There really was something for everyone (my mother, who has hardly any interest in vintage and usually wouldn't watch any of my silent film collection, let alone go to the cinema to watch one, was particularly taken with the romantic subplot and lead actor Jean Dujardin's matinée idol looks) and I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were about a dozen people at the screening. Perhaps there is some culture in Basildon after all(!).
If I get the chance to see it on the big screen again I shall most certainly take it, otherwise I will impatiently await the DVD release. From what I saw The Artist fully deserves every award it has garnered, and if it doesn't win something at the Oscars I for one will be very disappointed. I can't ever recall a film that has been so positively received by the critics, who have had absolutely nothing but praise for it. Is it as good as they say it is? YES.
|Image courtesy of Warner Bros.|