The Artist

I was curious how a silent feature would do in 2012. It’s extraordinary that one even got the green light. The Artist is innovative in a very retro way. Ironique, n’est pas? The performers manage this jaunty style that does harken back to the days of silent film and the black and white film is soothing. It’s a fun story about a silent film star whose marriage and career hit the skids as times change, but he doesn’t. Along comes a rescue boat in the form of a talented dancer in the guise of a girl next door.

Throughout the film, I noted how clever it all was. Yet I confess there were times I nearly dozed off. I miss dialog, good old fashioned dialog. Also, by the end of the film, disappointment hit me. The protagonist was sort of a jerk from start to finish. The cute, upbeat starlet would be better off with a better man. Just like in earlier silent films, the characters were absolutely flat, jaunty, but flat.

So I can see the Academy awarding this film with some awards for its chutzpah, I’m surprised it got so many Oscars. I didn’t see that many films in 2011 that were excellent and can’t say any particular film was robbed, but I wouldn’t have voted for The Artist. I’d have thought of voting for it, but wouldn’t have done so for that many categories.


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