Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm not a puppet, I'm an artist!

Despite its huge success at the Oscars, I still couldn't convince anyone to go see The Artist with me this week. So I finally bit the bullet and went to the movies by myself for the first time ever. Even though this activity was on my list of 101 things in 1001 days, I wasn't entirely thrilled with the idea. But oh! Oh, I'm so glad I did! Not only was it an empowering experience, but the heartfelt film itself was the very definition of charming.

What's ironic is that the reason I ended up going by myself was because it is a silent film and the main character in this film is a silent film actor struggling to stay relevant in the face of talking pictures. This was the first silent film I'd ever seen and it has certainly sparked my interest in seeing more. As a lover of all things old-fashioned, this was bound to happen. But more than that, the idea of a story being told with stolen glances, body language, sweeping music, and the suave Jean Dujardin's quizzical eyebrows absolutely thrilled me. All these elements came together seamlessly. 
From George Valentin's first blinding smile to Peppy Miller's charismatic flapper audition, I was smitten. The costumes and sets effortlessly transported me to the 1920s and with all that Old Hollywood glam on the big screen, I giggled and sighed my way through from start to finish. The lack of spoken language only enhanced it for me. This story was meant to be silent. That being said, it's not as silent as you might think. I don't want to give anything away in that regard, but the nightmare sequence in particular was one of my favorite scenes. But nothing I say could do that brilliant scene justice. You have to see it to believe it.

And that goes for the film as a whole too. My heart! My heart! The storyline was simple; famous boy meets no-name girl, their fates switch places. But the delivery was refreshing. It's about time Hollywood acknowledged a film like this (except there's nothing else like this)! I love that The Artist showed that the things that made Old Hollywood great are still great. Expressions, slapstick comedy, dance numbers... Who needs words? Certainly not Jean Dujardin or Bérénice Bejo! You know when I say, "He just says so much with his eyes!" about an actor, it basically means I'm ready for a proposal. But to see Jean Dujardin doing this through the entire movie? Oh mon dieu! *smelling salts* He charmed the pants off of me! And so did this film! This scene with Bérénice Bejo's Peppy Miller pretty much sums up my FEELINGS:

I just want to give The Artist a big long hug, steal all of Peppy's flapper dresses, and run off into the black and white world of glitz and glam with George Valentin!

1 comment:

  1. One day I'll actually make it to the theatre to see this. I already know the music is good!