Starring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, Ed Lauter, Malcolm McDowell
Charming. Simple. Wonderful.
George Valentin: [talking about his dog] If only he could talk.
Making a “silent picture” in the 21st century is a cute idea and bound to stand out but The Artist would have faded away pretty quickly had it settled there. A retelling of A Star is Born, essentially, The Artist follows silent star, George Valentin (Dujardin), at the height of his success in the late 1920s just before the “talking picture” takes over Hollywood and makes him and so many other silent stars obsolete. He meets young hopeful, Peppy Miller (Bejo), and the two fall in love while their careers and lives take different directions. This is an earnest, charming movie that weaves together and recycles several classic Hollywood stereotypes. Performers falling in love while their careers splinter, silent filmmaking, dog sidekicks, none of this is new material and yet when The Artist came out in 2011, it felt fresh. If anything, it proved that all of the hallmarks of Hollywood storytelling still work when done right. Dujardin and Bejo give wonderfully expressive performances.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-