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The Artist

2011  10.0
The Artist on IMDb

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Michel Hazanavicius
  Director

Michel Hazanavicius Writer

 Story
Hollywood, 1927: As silent movie star George Valentin wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion, he sparks with Peppy Miller, a young dancer set for a big break.

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 Release Date

June 26, 2011

 Runtime
1 hours and 40 minutes (100 minutes)

 Cast
Jean Dujardin
  George Valentin
Bérénice Bejo
  Peppy Miller
John Goodman
  Al Zimmer
James Cromwell
  Clifton
Penelope Ann Miller
  Doris
Malcolm McDowell
  The Butler
Missi Pyle
  Constance
Beth Grant
  Peppy's Maid
Ed Lauter
  Peppy's Butler
Joel Murray
  Policeman Fire
Ken Davitian
  Pawnbroker
Elizabeth Tulloch
  Norma
Basil Hoffman
  Auctioneer
Bill Fagerbakke
  Policeman Tuxedo
Nina Siemaszko
  Admiring Woman
Stephen Mendillo
  Set Assistant
Dash Pomerantz
  Peppy's Boyfriend
Beau Nelson
  Peppy's Boyfriend
Alex Holliday
  Guard
Wiley M. Pickett
  Guard
Ben Kurland
  Audition Casting Assistant
Katie Nisa
  Audition Dancer
Katie Wallack
  Audition Dancer
Hal Landon Jr.
  Napoleon
Sarah Karges
  Laughing Dancer
Sarah Scott
  Laughing Dancer
Ezra Buzzington
  Journalist
Stuart Pankin
  Director #1 (Restaurant)
Andy Milder
  Director #2
Bob Glouberman
  Director #3 (Finale)
David Allen Cluck
  Assistant Director (Finale)
Annie O'Donnell
  Woman with Policeman
Patrick Mapel
  Assistant with Newspaper
Tim DeZarn
  Soldier
Matthew Albrecht
  Tennis Player
Harvey J. Alperin
  Doctor
Lily Knight
  Nurse at Peppy's House
Clement Blake
  Beggar
Cleto Augusto
  Set Technician
Matt Skollar
  Peppy's Assistant
Adria Tennor
  Zimmer's Assistant
Tasso Feldman
  Zimmer's Assistant
Christopher Ashe
  Zimmer's Assistant
Cletus Young
  Bartender
J. Mark Donaldson
  Thug #1
Brian J. Williams
  Thug #2
Jen Lilley
  Onlooker
Brian Chenoweth
  Onlooker
Robert Amico
  The Waiter (uncredited)
Bill Blair
  Studio Engineer (uncredited)
Amanda Chism
  Make-Up Artist (uncredited)
Calvin Dean
  Mr. Sauveur (uncredited)
Mohamed Dione
  African (uncredited)
Jennifer Ingrum
  Charleston Dancer (uncredited)
Sergio Kato
  Actor (uncredited)
Kevin Ketcham
  Film Crew Member (uncredited)
Carmen Kirby
  Fan (uncredited)
Michael Laren
  Michel (uncredited)
Sonya Macari
  Autograph Girl (uncredited)
Josh Margulies
  Film Clapper #1 (uncredited)
Rene Napoli
  Studio Executive (uncredited)
Frank Scozzari
  Man in Restaurant (uncredited)
Jewel Shepard
  Flapper Starlet (uncredited)
John H. Tobin
  Violinist in Ballroom (uncredited)
Josh Woodle
  Man in Bed with Peppy (uncredited)
Vincent De Paul
  Restaurant Manager (uncredited)
Josephine Ganner
  1930's Studio Actress (uncredited)
Jillana Laufer
  Silent Film Star (uncredited)
Julie Minasian
  Make-up Artist 1 (uncredited)


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A Modern Masterpiece
By Jack Anderson on October 26, 2019
 10

1936. Charles Chaplin releases Modern Times, depicting the pangs of the modern life but with a form that was already outdated. In 1927, The Jazz Singer is the first (partial) talking movie. In less than a decade, Hollywood(land) stars from the silent era became silent themselves.

75 years after the last major Hollywood silent film, French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius decides to shoot a silent film. Released a few weeks before blockbusters such as Captain America: The First Avenger, the silent movie becomes a worldwide phenomenon and I believe this is a testimony to art itself. There will never be any better promotional campaign than quality itself. An intrinsic quality that shines and resonates throughout the world like magic.

When you cannot use words, you must be inventive, otherwise a silent movie becomes entirely boring and uninteresting. This is why Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton were so great. They were both physically devoted to the story.
The Artist is clearly inventive. Every scene is having at least a few excellent ideas. For instance, Peppy pressing herself against the vest of George Valentin.

And what is both extremely clever and interesting is that the film focuses on this crucial period when silent movies transitioned to talkies. Or better said when silent movies died and talkies took over. This is the story of the film. One man falling down while a young lady climbs up. There's a very interesting scene in which George has just learned that his film company has made him redundant. Peppy has just been signed and passes by him. In that particular scene, she's looking down at him from above a staircase. He looks up but he's already fallen. This simple gimmick is simply brilliant and this is just an example of the force of the film. You don't need words to convey an idea. And by removing the words entirely, you get pure emotions, such as the final scene.

I remember vividly being in the completely silenced and dark movie theater, and witnessing or should I say living this final and brilliant scene. And then the sound of the spectators weeping. I was one of those spectators. And I came back a second time, being so moved by this story. You see, I'm an admirer of silent films. Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton are my heroes. And this film is a true homage to not only silent films but to cinema itself.

Also, the power of the film is to use 1929 as the year where everything change. Since George Valentin is supposed to be an international movie star, silent or not, we imagine him as a rich person. And he is. What's very intelligent was to make him loose everything in the major stock market crash in History, during October 1929.
The release of George Valentin's self-produced movie is scheduled for October 25, 1929. The stock market will crash a day before.

And what about Jean Dujardin? He simply is George Valentin. With his gimmicks and Hollywood face, he transcends the character and gives a truly remarkable and magical performance. There are moments when watching him in black and white feels like we are within the History of cinema itself.
And his onscreen relationship with French actress Bérénice Bejo works wonderfully.

Shot logically in black and white and a 4:3 format, the film looks superb. The blacks are extremely deep.

The music is a character on its own.

And how about the dog?

VERDICT
I give it 10 out of 10. And believe me, I don't give this note easily. A true modern and perfect masterpiece.


The Artist
By Syldana on November 6, 2019
 10

I totally share the emotion expressed in the previous review.
A few weeks before its release I myself was curious, the idea that a woman of my generation could see a film of this nature (that only my grandparents could have seen in a movie theater) me fascinated. During the viewing, that emotions crossed, the various scenes are superb, we laugh, we cry, we are anxious for George Valentin during the fire ... What finesse in terms of achievement and what a tour de force on the part actors, trained to pass emotion through dialogues, usually. I came out of this film, amazed.



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