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The Artist (2011)
Is This Some Kind of A Joke?
*** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS A SPOILER .... PLEASE READ AT YOUR DISCRETION ***
I had seen a ton of cinema....beginning from the 1890s to present day to American, Italian, Japanese, French, German, British, Spanish, Latin American....etc, etc, etc...including lots and lots of silent pictures, therefore my film education is very well versed.
Harvey Weinstein's executive money management campaign always works.....a little bit of proper marketing money does the trick. Personally, I think this film is an insult to the silent cinema, not a tribute. Anyone that had film education and saw at least the films of Charlie Chaplin will have a tendency to agree with me.
The storyline, while it exists, carries very little substance.
As far as acting goes: Dujardin does deserve a Best Actor Oscar...the film holds entirely on his acting. Directing was decent, although I do believe in order to make a film more interesting, the cinematography (or the way it is shot), could have been a lot more innovative, but since the filmmaker resorted to attempting to "copy" silent films, the entire cache of the picture got lost.
**** WARNING - SPOILER BELOW ****
But the story.....well here it goes: The film basically shows our protagonist who is on top of his acting game and is a "superstar", who then "bumps into", or rather she "bumps into him"....an "extra" or an onlooker on set, whom he is charmed by....of course our film's leading lady, and our film director's wife in real life. Next thing we know, the silent era is over...the talking era begins and she becomes famous and he becomes nothing by becoming an alcoholic and a wimp.....literally a wimp. As soon as they start making "talking" pictures in our film, our protagonist can no longer work all of the sudden......but why? So a successful superstar turns into a wimp overnight.....that does not hold true for Hollywood.....please DO NOT underestimate the effect of star power.....please take a look at Mel Gibson's case and how long it took him to destroy himself, despite all of the "charades" he threw out publicly....and if you wanted to compare this film to the times of Charlie Chaplin would still be absurd....Chaplin never lost his ability to make films, even when "The Great Dictator" came out in 1940. That was not a silent film...it was a talking picture, which is one of Chaplin's most infamous pictures to date....check it out via Criterion Collection, yet Chaplin was a silent actor/filmmaker, but somehow still managed to make good, quality films that were talking pictures.
Continuing... Then our leading lady comes and rescues our leading man, yet until the very end of the movie, it is really unclear (when you think about it) why he is the guy she should be rescuing. He does not "give her a start" in the movie industry...just because he adds a "birthmark" above her lip in the beginning (clever Cindy Crawford copycat citation there by the way....) does not mean she should be rescuing him.
In the end...everyone's happy....the wimp is rescued by a "strong" lady who was always obsessed with him, she didn't actually love him, she loved "the image" of this successful man....in today's real life example for instance, it would be the same as a regular girl obsessed with George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but the story in this film wants to make us believe that she loves him, when she actually does not, but only in a movie can they attempt to get away with something like this.
The bottom line? Best Picture? I don't think so....nice try though.
Of course, for people that go to movies in a movie theater "on a date", when they are all "into each other" and are concentrating more on each other's lips and are boiling with emotions because they can't wait to finish the movie and go home and shag....add a little popcorn and soda and smiling characters on screen with somewhat existent story line in today's day and age will pass for today's average viewer, but for someone that understands what makes a real film work, I would say....pass....or see it only for Dujardin's acting.
To close....I was not disappointed to be honest after I completed watching this because after getting used to so much garbage that comes out on screen during the course of the last 10- 15 years, finding a truly unique picture with a profound storyline these days is a surprise, therefore I did not expect much...but was curious why George Clooney lost the Oscar to Dujardin.
3/10 ... Sorry Mr. Michel Hazanavicius, I meant no disrespect to you or to the film, but it is the job of the viewer to give each film a sober and honest review, otherwise what good are our opinions?