PG / 2011 / Drama / Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
Screenplay: Michel Hazanavicius / Director: Michel Hazanavicius
The Artist is an incredible, near-faultless film that should not to be missed by anyone. Set in the late 1920’s, this black-and-white, silent masterpiece sees Jean Dujardin playing George Valentin: an actor who whilst at the top of his game, is caught off guard by the sudden immergence of talkies. Add to the mix a dancer-turned-actress (played by Bérénice Bejo) who is set to take over his mantle, and you’ve got a compelling drama that sees a successful man’s world quickly unravelling as the silent roles dry up. The story may be simple, but with such attention to period-detail, not to mention the enduring performances by the entire cast (even the cameos – by the likes of Missi Pyle and Malcolm McDowell – are something to be treasured) you will find it very hard not to be drawn in by the sheer pleasure of the whole experience. But, if all else fails, we defy you not to suffer a melting heart at the sight of, possibly, the best canine performance ever committed to screen. Valentin’s faithful companion Uggie – a 10-year-old Jack Russell Terrier – is arguably the finest ingredient of a film with barely a blemish to speak of. Pure joy.
Kyle Buxton is an independent freelance film reviewer and blogger
Be sure to check out hid blog at: Reel Lighthouse – containing movie reviews, as well as other occasional film-related insights.