No you aren't crazy. The Artist is in black and white. It's also a silent film with printed dialogue. Crazy? Sure. Kinda cool? Yeah. Up for tons of Oscar nominations? Absolutely. This film harkens back to the golden days of Hollywood when boy meets girls, boy falls for girl, boy's the big star, girl's the peppy young ingenue who surpasses his dreams and becomes a huge star. Meanwhile, boy's star plummets into disgrace. It's an olden goldie tale and it works in 2011-2012.
Jean Dujardin is our silent hero, George Valentin. Think Douglas Fairbanks - swashbuckling, matinee idol good looks, with an expansive smile, and over emoting - perfect for the silent film heyday. Berenice Bejo is Peppy Miller - our cute heroine, with large expressive eyes, a smile that doesn't end, and dancer legs. Plus she's ready to talk, sing, and go far in this new world of talkies. George refuses to change, thinking the talkies are a fad. Soon only his dog, played by a terrier named Uggie, stands by George. (Uggie steals the show!)
The 1929 stock market crash hits, wiping George's fortune. Folks still flock to movies, but only the talkies. He spends his own fortune to make a film, but silence is not golden anymore. Part comedy, part drama, part love story - The Artist is charming, entertaining, and rich in its black & white & shades of gray. The film score is luscious, and it's nice to enjoy an old fashioned film. Buy a tub of popcorn, treat yourself to a soda, and don't make a sound. Ssshhh!
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