Down 200 this week

The Artist (I) (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  20 January 2012 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 179,640 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 577 user | 571 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions.

Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Won 5 Oscars. Another 141 wins & 168 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Argo (2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.

Director: Ben Affleck
Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Crash I (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption.

Director: Paul Haggis
Stars: Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A Mumbai teen, who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.

Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty
The Iron Lady (2011)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Stars: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant
Lincoln (2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn
Chicago (2002)
Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.

Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere
Beginners (2010)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.

Director: Mike Mills
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

Director: John Madden
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Illustrated upon the progress of his latest Broadway play, a former popular actor's struggle to cope with his current life as a wasted actor is shown.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton
Crazy Heart (2009)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A faded country music musician is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life during a doomed romance that also inspires him.

Director: Scott Cooper
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell


Cast overview, first billed only:
Peppy's Maid
Peppy's Butler
Policeman Fire
The Butler
Policeman Tuxedo
Admiring Woman (as Nina Siemazko)


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 L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a disturbing image and a crude gesture | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beauty Spot  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$204,878 (USA) (18 November 2011)


$44,667,095 (USA) (15 June 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First Best Picture winner with an independent, digital distribution home video release via streaming platforms (e.g. UltraViolet, VUDU, and Amazon Instant). See more »


When a poster is shown of new talents of the sound era in 1929, actress Lucille Ricksen is among those listed. Ricksen was in fact a silent screen actress who died in 1925. See more »


George Valentin: [talking about Uggie] If only he could talk.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits for the baseball movie, "Jackie Cooler" plays "The Fridge." See more »


Referenced in 500 Questions: Episode #1.5 (2015) See more »


Jubilee Stomp
(Duke Ellington [as Edward Ellington])
©Gotham Music Service, Inc. c/o Salabert/Universal
Performed by Duke Ellington
(p) Originally released 1928 Sony Music Entertainment
Courtesy of Universal Music Vision & Sony Music Entertainment France
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Masterpiece that will leave you ... Speechless ...
14 November 2011 | by (France) – See all my reviews

«We didn't need dialogs, we had faces» said the narcissistic Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) in Billy Wilder' "Sunset Boulevard", referring to the Silent Era, when she used to be big … before the 'pictures got small'.

The reason of this introduction is that after watching Michel Hazanavicius' critically acclaimed: "The Artist", I strongly felt this was the perfect illustration to Norma Desmond's iconic eulogy. From beginning to end, my eyes never ceased to be amazed by the communicative smile of Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, the aging silent movie star and the sparkling eyes of Berenice Bejo as Peppy Miller, the young and flamboyant starlet. Their faces occupy the screen with such an electrifying magnetism that they don't just steal the scenes, they steal the dialogs … literally.

I was awestruck by Dujardin's performance. To those who didn't grew up with French TV programs, he's one of the most popular and talented comedians of his generation. Dujardin created the character of Brice de Nice, a blonde surfer whose specialty was to 'diss people', but it was so funny it never sounded mean-spirited. He was a member of a cult comic-troop (who made sketches à la SNL) but even back then, he had a little something that made him special: a voice, a smile, a charisma in both TV and movies, in both dramatic and comedic register. There was no doubt in France that the guy who was famous for his impressions of Robert De Niro and the camel (and even De Niro doing the camel) was promised to a brilliant career.

Look closely at Jean Dujardin's face, it's like drawn with 'classic' features: the finely traced mustache who builds a Fairbanks-like charisma like the strength from Samson's hair, the dazzling smile making him look like the lost son of Gene Kelly, and a certain macho toughness reminding of a young Sean Connery. Dujardin's face is a gift from cinematic Gods, and "The Artist" finally lets it glide, earning him the Cannes Festival Award for Best Actor. I sincerely believe he deserves an Oscar nomination, because he just doesn't play an actor from the Silent Era, he embodies the Era with the same level of demented craziness as Norma Desmond, in a brighter and more light-hearted side.

Valentin's self-absorption echoes Desmond's cynical ego while his gaudy 'Don Lockwood' mask (Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain") hides the more poignant face of his insecurity. He's the star of the screen because only the screen allows him to express his unique talent. While Lockwood had to adapt to the 'talking' revolution, George Valentin makes a conservative U Turn starting an inexorable descent into madness, from an outcast, to a has-been until being finally alienated by his own talkie-phobia. The direction is so clever that it challenges many times our perceptions, creating unexpected feelings of discomfort when real sounds are heard. But I was surprised to see how much it worked on a dramatic level.

And this is the strength of the film, although I expect it to discomfort some viewers: it isn't a tribute in the literary meaning of the word. It has its moments where it tricks us into the use of sounds or dialogs, but never fails to distract us from the core of the story: the romance. Very quickly, we forget about spotting the hints, the references to silent classics: chase scenes, over-the-top comical gesticulations, slapstick jokes etc. This mindset would disappoint those who expected a film with the same material as Mel Brook's "Silent Movie", which was clearly a tribute. "The Artist" IS a silent movie, featuring a beautiful romance between George and Peppy, who got her break with an idea from George, something that would make her different from the other actresses: a beauty spot above the upper lip. A clever credit-billing montage depicts her consequent ascension to stardom until she finally dethrones George and makes a has-been out of him.

If I mentioned the performance of Dujardin, Berenice Bejo also deserves some accolades because she succeeded in looking so "old" from our POV yet so fresh and modern in the film, with the appealing feel-good and optimistic attitude she constantly brings on screen. With her doll-face and youngish smile, she's like a cute little girl enjoying what she does. In a way, Peppy Miller embodies the film's most inspirational element: a positive message about passion and enjoyment. And this indirectly highlights George's source of troubles: being deprived from what he enjoyed the most and suffering from his progressive fading into oblivion. Along with this conflict, the evolution of George and Peppy's romance never feels forced, quite an accomplishment when we consider how slightly over-the-top silent movie stars used to act.

Both Dujardin and Bejo are indeed powerful in an Oscar-worthy level and at that moment, I can't continue without mentioning the third character of the film, George's dog. The relationship between George and the dog provides a sort of Chaplinesque feel to the movie, a mix of tenderness and poignancy, so natural and convincing I wonder if the Academy will think of a honorary Oscar. Anyway, I applaud Hazanivicius for not having reduced "The Artist" to a flashy spectacle with no substance, with the word 'homage' as the director's convenient alibi, and make a touching romance about two people who met each other at a pivotal time in the history of film-making, each representing a side of cinema, the old-school silent generation: Chaplin, Keaton, Pickford and the exuberant talkers: Grant, Hepburn, Davis … And I'm glad he found the true note to reconcile between these two universes at the end … didn't I tell you Dujardin was the lost son of Gene Kelly?

"The Artist" plays like a missing link between "Singin' in the Rain" and "Sunset Boulevard" and it's indeed one of the best films of 2011, with the absence of words as an endearing 'beauty spot'.

250 of 340 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
List the Best Picture Winners of the 21th Century, from best to worst CineNaupigos
Why George couldn't make the transition crpl_hicks
Hugo vs The Artist jack_north
The heroine didn't fit the time period, IMHO claudecat
Take away the novelty tpupkin
The Lovely Chemistry of Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin... slarts2000
Discuss The Artist (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: