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The Artist (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy)
Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky's the limit - major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies.
||Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller|
||AC-3, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled|
|Number of Discs:
||Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
|DVD Release Date:
||June 26, 2012|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 283 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 283 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
129 of 142 found the following review helpful:
The Artist: An effortless classic...Mar 31, 2012
By M. Bullions
I respond to hype involving movies in a variety of different ways. If I get all excited about a film months before its release, I often find myself being disappointed with the film's final product. I saw a trailer for "The Artist" months back, and didn't think much of it, because I didn't know much about it. I had seen reviews and award acclaim for Michel Hazanavicius's "The Artist", and wanted to give it a shot. On account of the limited theatrical release that the film got, I found myself venturing toward the bad part of town the night before it happened to win the Golden Globe for best picture, and oh, was it worth it.
"The Artist" is everything you could possibly want it to be. The story isn't anything revolutionary or surprising, but it really doesn't have to be. In case you have somehow not heard of this film yet, it is a silent film that is set in 1927, at the height of the silent movie era. It follows George Valentin, an actor who has had a great deal of success in silent film. The film follows the years where the film industry is moving into "talkies", where he finds his success is dwindling. He falls hard for Peppy Miller, an actress who is just breaking into the business. This story lasts over the span of maybe ten years.
While up until now, Hollywood has widely forgotten about the silent film era, the style of the film feels kind of experimental to a moviegoer of my generation. The film is a beautiful love letter to this period of film which we all have forgotten about. It makes me think that actors, writers, directors...everybody had to work a lot harder in that generation. It's hard to write a universally appealing story with no dialogue.
Style is a big deal, camera angles, and lighting are critical. I'm glad this one was released after I took my first Film Studies course at college, because there's a good chance a film like this would have slipped through my fingers otherwise. I learned about the silent film era, and found that there were twice as many flops as there were hits, in those days. This film could not have worked in those days, since it is clearly about the silent film era. However, I appreciate the little hidden history lesson that this film offered.
In a film with no dialogue, actors have to have very expressive faces, they have to be able to emote, which is also something that a wide amount of today's actors and actresses have forgotten how to do. Jean Dujardin's George Valentin is wonderful. His infectious smile is a big reason why the film works. It's the same deal with Berenice Bejo. The two actors have phenomenal chemistry, and that's enough to carry this, even if it were a bad film.
Like I said, this film's storyline is nothing new. It's the classic story of the Hollywood big cheese who helps the beautiful young starlet in her rise to fame. The film works because it's a story that can be shown in any country, in any language, and it would still be relevant. It's universal in a way that I didn't expect. The film doesn't use the titles that silent films are known for too much. There are titles, but they are used sparingly, only when they need it. That was a very good thing. For a film that's so strictly about filmmaking technique, being shot in glorious black and white, with a 4x3 aspect ratio, it's quite affecting. I give most of the credit to the actors, the extraordinary musical score by Ludovic Bource, and the direction. This was clearly a labor of love, and it pays off in a big way.
61 of 68 found the following review helpful:
The Artist: Brilliance Made to Look EasyMar 30, 2012
"The Eclectic Film Hero"
It is a masterful movie-maker who can take a simple story (much less a silent one) and captivate an audience. That "The Artist" is so straight-forward is itself a tribute to the old adage that any story can capture the imagination, it just must be true to the soul. The genius here is that you are totally drawn into this world in near totality by the expressions on the actors' faces. It belies the fact that the silent film is indeed a lost art and we are fortunate to have it re-introduced to the main-stream in such a glorious fashion.
But first things first, this is *not* a stodgy, stick-in-the mud film. "The Artist" is at times laugh-out-loud, and then is equally engrossing as an emotional hay-maker. If you are expecting a dull yawn-fest, go see the latest CGI-laden summer film. But if in the the best sense you want to be captivated by a film, see "The Artist".
Without any giveaways, the story here involves an aging film star who is being left behind by the rise of the sound-age of film. Right behind him is a rising starlet who is excelling in the sound age. It is their story to tell: his from the perspective of the slide down and hers from the climb up. There is great supporting work as well, including a delightful little doggy who is essentially the side-kick to our hero. But it is lead actor Jean Dujardin who rightly "steals" the picture with his breath-taking emotional range.
Also a delight are the little scenes we as an audience identify with as true-isms: the bits of film magic that stick with you long after you leave the theater. The rising starlet using our hero's jacket in a pantomime, reflecting her awe and love of him, is the perfect example. But what tops it all in my mind are those moments where "The Artist" blends old-fashioned movie staples into itself and makes you want to cheer, though you know it's been done a thousand times before. An example being the aforementioned doggy as hero at one point. It is this homage to old films that makes you smile - the director is so skillful at it, he creates his own legitimate, unique and praise-worthy old-Hollywood world without it feeling stale in the least. In fact, it is as refreshing to watch as anything else you will see this year or any other.
"The Artist" is the best of what movies should be: good storytelling that makes it look easy.
53 of 60 found the following review helpful:
Revolutionary moviemaking; not just a movie, but an experience.Apr 08, 2012
In an era where we rely heavily on CGI and 3D to wow us, this movie takes us back to a time when acting was truly an art, men were gentlemen, women were proper, and moviegoing was a theatrical and magical experience. Gone are the days when we can get into our Sunday best and spend an evening at the theater for a movie and a live show. Nowadays, anyone can catch a flick at 10am 7 days a week wearing their jammies, and often being the sole soul in the theater.
Spoiler: this is a silent movie. Sorry if I've lost your attention already. But hear me out. True, this is one of your "been there, done that - married boy meets single girl, married boy falls in love with single girl, married boy can't have single girl, single girl moves on, and there is still a happy ending" story. But it's not the story that makes this movie - it's the way the story is told that makes this movie revolutionary and epic. Jean's and Bérénice's pure, raw emotion, in addition to a stellar soundtrack, tell the entire story without the need for schnazzy graphics or complex plot. Dialogue is only displayed on screen maybe less that twenty times. The rest of the story is told entirely through kinesics, which is relayed via stellar acting.
I don't usually go see a movie in the theaters twice. I will see it once, and if it's good enough to see again will wait until it comes out on Blu Ray. But this movie...I even convinced by buddy, who had zero interest in seeing the movie and hadn't even heard of it, to go see it, and he loved it.
The score is also worth picking up. Yes, it's 100% instrumental. But 50% of the meaning of the movie is through this score! Even if you've not seen the movie, it's written so well that you can feel the emotion just by sitting back and closing your eyes while listening to it.
I can only hope that we begin to see more silent movies like this.
9 of 10 found the following review helpful:
A LOVE NOTE TO THE PASTJul 18, 2012
By Mark Turner
There are many who would have been stunned when they heard that a silent movie won for best picture in 2012 at the Oscars. Okay I admit I was one of those people. But after having had the chance to see the film it made me think that perhaps Hollywood granted the award for two reasons: one, because it is a great film and two, because it is a love note to the Golden Age of Hollywood.
The film is about the career of silent screen idol George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), a swashbuckling/dancing/sly grinned matinee idol if there ever was one. When the film starts George is at the top of his game and the biggest box office draw around. Along with his pet pouch he's the talk of the town and a hit with everyone.
One day while signing autographs he literally bumps into a young woman named Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo). At first surprised he passes it off with a laugh and the two go on their way. Except that now the press is all abuzz wondering who this mystery woman is, something that Mrs. Valentin (Penelope Ann Miller) isn't pleased with.
As the film progresses the paths of George and Peppy cross once more when they meet on the set of his next film where she's an extra. They playfully dance back and forth much to the displeasure of the head of the studio (John Goodman). When he attempts to toss her off the lot, George steps in and defends her. This is much to her good fortune as the roles she receives increase and her popularity grows as well.
The same can't be said of George. When Goodman shows him the latest thing to hit Hollywood, sound, George laughs it off and gloats that he's never needed sound to reach and audience. When the studio switches to sound only, George is tossed aside as old. He promises to show them how great silent films are by starring in, directing, writing and producing his next film. Opening the same day as the new Peppy Miller film, it draws a few people against the lines waiting to see her film.
Down and out and nearly penniless after the stock market crash, George's wife leaves him. Only his trusted chauffer Clifton (James Cromwell) stays by his side until George finally fires him due to no money with which to pay him. George sells off everything he has and finds little to keep him going.
At the same time the fortunes of Peppy Miller are skyrocketing. Little known to George so are her emotions for him. It will only be a matter of time before these star crossed lovers finally meet once more.
It seems like such a simple story, perhaps a bit of A STAR IS BORN, tossed in as well. But this is no remake and yes, the story is quite simple. But that doesn't make it the least bit boring. Instead it's a tremendous piece of storytelling that makes the viewer use their eyes to get the story. The music enhances the action on the screen just as it was in the silent era. The composition of what we are viewing is something we could take for granted or perhaps we have the chance to see how visually stimulating it can be, even in black and white.
The film ends with a dance number straight out of the old Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers playbook. Unfortunately there will be far too many viewers who won't even know who Astaire and Rogers were which is kind of sad because there are so many great movies that just aren't the thing these days. Younger viewers ignore films that are black and white. They have no desire to watch a film that is "silent" (even though the score to this movie is fantastic). It's much easier to watch a movie with tons of explosions or sparkling vampires than it is to invest oneself in a love story like this one.
That's a big loss for this generation. They don't know about the high flying adventures of Captain Blood or the deeply romantic loss felt by Rick in a town named Casablanca. They'll never know the charm of Nick and Nora Charles as they solve crimes or the horror displayed by an actor named Karloff. This movie might change that though. Perhaps after watching and enjoying this film the younger generation might be interested enough to seek out those classics. One can only hope. And if not, at least they'll be entertained by this film. It deserved the attention it received.
8 of 9 found the following review helpful:
SILENTLY LOUD & CLEAR - FANTASTIC!Aug 18, 2012
By Armchair Critic
Wow! The acting in this movie was amazing. Even though few words were spoken throughout the movie, I felt as though I watched and listened to an entire dialogue. The unspoken and unheard became loud and clear. The actors facial expressions and body motions moved with their lips and created a script that anybody could understand and enjoy.
This movie should be catalogued with the best classics.
What I liked most about the movie:
It was cerebral.
Every actor and every scene combined with great music to bring this movie to life (living color and sound).
It didn't need sophomorish bathroom humor to be funny.
It didn't need sex to be passionate and romantic.
It had many very memorable moments like the old time greats - Here's lookin' at you kid.
It didn't need words or sounds to hear and experience the action, love, tragedy and inspiration.
And, the dog was just as much of a character as any of the human actors in the movie. The dog should be named Oscar.
I watched this alone, and like a good book I couldn't stop watching - even though I was tired and needed to go to bed.
I plan on watching it again, and I am going to insist that my girlfriend watch it with me - I know she'll love it.
If they made silent movies like this back in the beginning, it could have delayed the need for talkies.
From one armchair critic to another - watch it (you'll be glad you did).
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