7.9/10
215,807
631 user 579 critic

The Artist (2011)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 January 2012 (USA)
Trailer
0:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $9.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
An egomaniacal film star develops a relationship with a young dancer against the backdrop of Hollywood's silent era.
Reviews
Popularity
2,867 ( 409)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 148 wins & 190 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Argo (2012)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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 1979.

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

The story of King George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne of the British Empire in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer.

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Drama | Thriller | War
    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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla
Chicago (2002)
Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two death-row murderesses develop a fierce rivalry while competing for publicity, celebrity, and a sleazy lawyer's attention.

Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton
Crash I (2004)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe
Rain Man (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Spotlight I (2015)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Director: Tom McCarthy
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams
Moonlight I (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Director: Barry Jenkins
Stars: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Dujardin ... George Valentin
Bérénice Bejo ... Peppy Miller
John Goodman ... Al Zimmer
James Cromwell ... Clifton
Penelope Ann Miller ... Doris
Missi Pyle ... Constance
Beth Grant ... Peppy's Maid
Ed Lauter ... Peppy's Butler
Joel Murray ... Policeman Fire
Elizabeth Tulloch ... Norma (as Bitsie Tulloch)
Ken Davitian ... Pawnbroker
Malcolm McDowell ... The Butler
Basil Hoffman ... Auctioneer
Bill Fagerbakke ... Policeman Tuxedo
Nina Siemaszko ... Admiring Woman (as Nina Siemazko)
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | USA | Belgium

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

20 January 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beauty Spot See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€2,258,297 (France), 16 October 2011, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$204,878, 18 November 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$44,671,682

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$133,432,856
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Weinstein's second consecutive Best Picture winner; the previous year's Best Picture winner was The King's Speech (2010). See more »

Goofs

The phonograph used is a Guild "Graphanola" - a hi-fi made to look like an outside horn machine. These were built in the mid 1950's when Hi-fi was the newest sound technology, almost 30 years after when this movie is set. A non-electric inside horn machine like a Victrola would have been more than likely used in the late 1920's, as outside horn machines were outdated by then. See more »

Quotes

[sternly, to Peppy]
George Valentin: I've made way for you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References La classe américaine (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Estancia OP.8
(Alberto Ginastera))
Conducted by Ernst van Tiel (as Ernst Van Tiel)
Performed by Brussels Philharmonic (as Brussels Philharmonic - The Orchestra of Flanders)
©Boosey & Hawkes c/o Editions Durand/Universal
(p) 2011 La Petite Reine
Courtesy of Universal Music Vision
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Masterpiece that will leave you ... Speechless ...
14 November 2011 | by ElMaruecan82See 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'.


271 of 375 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 631 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed