As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.
George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who's made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.
Outside a movie premiere, enthusiastic fan Peppy Miller literally bumps into the swashbuckling hero of the silent film, George Valentin. The star reacts graciously and Peppy plants a kiss on his cheek as they are surrounded by photographers. The headlines demand: "Who's That Girl?" and Peppy is inspired to audition for a dancing bit-part at the studio. However as Peppy slowly rises through the industry, the introduction of talking-pictures turns Valentin's world upside-down. Written by
Marvellous; one of the best movie experiences you'll ever have
The Artist arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival preceded by the accolades it received at Cannes, so expectations were high, but those expectations have been more than amply fulfilled. This film is an absolute marvel - charming, witty, surprising, moving, clever and beautiful. Filmmaking is about decisions, thousands and thousands of them, and everyone involved in The Artist makes every decision to perfection. The cinematography is ravishing in luminous black and white. The musical score, on which the film, being silent, is so dependant, is subtle when it needs to be subtle, dramatic when the occasion calls for it, and never overbearing or overwrought. The screenplay (yes, silent films do have screenplays) toys with the conventions of the silent era, paying homage to some of the greatest films of the first two or three decades of cinema history. The acting is flawless, extracting emotion and humour from a simple but classic storyline. The direction displays such self-assurance, and treats the audience with such respect, that it is almost like having a dialogue with the director.
The Artist is one of the most enjoyable movie experiences I have ever had. It deserves a wide audience and all sorts of awards. I can hardly wait to see it again.
And oh yes, if there is ever an Oscar for best animal performance, the dog in The Artist should receive a lifetime achievement award for this role alone.
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