The Artist 2011 ★★★★

Some say the film doesn't withstand a second viewing. I was a little afraid of that, but luckily I found that it was not the case. I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time around.

I love everything about this film. Dujardin and Bejo deliver fantastic performances as movie stars of the 20s and 30s, and of course Goodman delivers some of the best laughs.

It's not a deep film, nor is it a film that provokes thought, but that cannot be used against it as it never claimed to be any of those things. It is simply a fun, entertaining popcorn movie that is original in concept and gives us a look into the always-existing phenomenon of movie stars who pass their due date for one reason or another.

What always impressed me about this film wasn't that it was a silent picture but that there were so few title cards used. And I will forever be impressed by the fact that the film goes from pure drama to pure comedy with a single-word title card. Brilliant.

19 Comments

  • :-) "not a deep film"
    I'm just a little annoyed that this film was so successfully hyped to win the Academy Award. It was just a "unique" approach for a 2011 film. I admit I enjoyed this film ( not as much as you ). It will always be on my very "overrated" list.
    I'm glad that you appreciated it as much on the second viewing, although; I was quite sure you would.
    I am getting the blu-ray this week (delayed father's Day gift). I am hoping I appreciate it more with wine and popcorn. :-)

  • You with the Blu of The Artist? Seriously? I'm thinking of the rants you created about the film and I have to say the thought of you holding the Blu is making me laugh a little here ;-)

  • Yes; but you must realize it will be on the shelf between Anaconda3 and AVP ( Alien vs Predator) !! :-)

  • "Some say the film doesn't withstand a second viewing."

    I'll say it doesn't withstand the first. Wow, what an utter disappointment. It is exactly what I thought it was going to be before the Hollywood hype machine took over.

    Sorry lise, this is one where we don't see eye to eye. I'll admit I woudl have enjoyed this much more if I had no baggage with it, but at best it would have been an enjoyable film. But one that was not worthy of all the accolades it received in the past year. It winning as many Oscars as it did represents all that is wrong with the Oscars and the Award Season in general. Dujardin was good in it, but was his performance better than Clooney's in The Descendents? Not even close.

  • Hey Brent. Well, yeah, we will have to agree to disagree. Not only do I think The Artist deserved the Oscar (the only other film I thought was better was Tree of Life), but I think DuJardin was far better than Clooney. Miles and miles, in fact. Hey, it will be fun to see if we disagree that much on other films too. If so, you could use me for reverse-recommendations, as in do not see what I like ;-)

  • I agree with LIse wholeheartedly on this one; that Dujardin versus Clooney comment is bang on.

  • I agree with a lot of your reviews...and thoughts on many films. But A thin Red Line is another one that I just don't get, but at least with that film I can understand where someone might love it. The Artist? Best Film of the year?? Not even close. I think The Help was a better film!!! (Ok, maybe not.. but it's close...)

    Dujardin has what? Two? Three faces he uses throughout the film? The smug, confident look. The confused look and the sad look. I'd say the dog gave a better performance than he did.

  • I think you guys are indirectly touching on an interesting topic, good actors vs. likeable actors. I think Dujardin and Clooney both fall into both categories, though I'm not sure how much their likeabilty "improves" their acting.

    I don't have a problem with The Artist winning. The nominees overall were pretty horrible. The only other possible winners would have been The Tree of Life, which would never happen, or Midnight in Paris. The Artist personifies "Academy Award Best Picture."

    I agreed with the Dujardin pick. I hated The Descendents and I don't think Clooney did anything more than Dujardin. Neither was a Daniel Day Lewis type performance, so the more unique character/movie won it. Clooney's role was rather basic, no? Dujardin aside, Clooney had like one "tough" scene(hospital) and didn't really do much with it.

  • Rick, thanks for chiming in. In my opinion Clooney showed up, that's all. Granted, it was pretty hard to do anything with that script (I didn't much like The Descendants). DuJardin created his role from scratch, which involved getting the style down pat from the silent pictures, exaggerating expressions and movements because it was a silent, and conveying subtext with no dialogue and very few title cards. I'd say that's pretty darn involved, and he did a fantastic job. I wonder if he also had to learn to tap dance?

  • lise.. lise... lise..

    Did we watch the same movies? Dujardin 'conveying subtext'? Really? I didn't see any of that.. Like Is aid.. Is aw the same old tired expression exaggerated throughout the movie. I did like Bejo quite a bit though, she seemed more reserved but expressive at the same time.

    As far as Clooney I couldn't disagree more! (and The Descendents for that matter!)

    "In my opinion Clooney showed up, that's all" WHERE'S THE UNFOLLOW BUTTON!??!?! ;-)

    I thought he showed great nuance, the ability to convey emotion and thoughts WITHOUT having to resort to exaggerated looks.

    As wrong as you are, I still respect your viewpoints and thoughts (Not as much as I used to though... ;-) )

    Next thing I know you'll be saying how The Boondock Saints or the Happening are two underrated masterpieces.

    I do think that we can agree that Drive was the best picture of the year and should have won, not to mention be nominated.

  • haha. We disagree yet again! Drive was good. Very good. But better than Tree of Life? As the man says in The Castle: "You're dreamin' " ;-)

  • Sorry lise, I'm not trying to sell you an overhead projector.

    I've only seen about 35 minutes of the Tree of LIfe, and that was enough. But I can see why someone would be into it, just not my cup o tea.

  • I have to jump in. It is absolutely amazing to me that film lovers would not appreciate George Clooney as one of the all time greats. I want to see every film that he is in. He excels almost every time. He is so talented that he makes it look too easy (for some I guess). Jean Du... is not even close to the talent of Clooney. I thought Clooney was very good in the Decendants. I guess that's why he won the Best Actor at the Golden Globes and several others.
    Re "The Artist" and lise's Twig of Life; I am not anxious to see either one ever again.
    I will defend Brent a bit, as "8" adults were in my theater to watch "The Tree of Life" (lise talked me into it). Only "3" managed to stay through the whole film. I think this is a very representative response. That is a very overrated, boring movie. Malick does not get an auto pass with me. :-)

  • I also thought "Drive" was better and far more entertaining than "The Artist" or "Tree.." Mind you; so were "The "Descendants" and "MoneyBall". :-) JMHO

  • Pretty sure we were just discussing the two specific performances in The Descendants and The Artist, not their entire careers.

    I like Clooney a lot, but I would much rather watch him in The American or Solaris over The Descendants, which I have no desire to ever re-watch. Clooney almost felt out of place to me in the role; I didn't hate him, since I find it nearly impossible to hate the guy, but he did nothing for me in the role and almost detracted from it in parts. I did find the teenage girl to be quite excellent, but I sometimes wonder if that was partly due to the rest of the cast being pretty terrible.

    To me Dujardin elevated what could have been an extremely flat character to something fun and interesting and Clooney almost served to do the opposite in his film.

  • Fair enough Len. I'm mostly teasin' lise. I did, however; like Clooney's performance in the Descendants more than you.

  • Thanks for having my back Bill...

    I'm still shocked by Len's and lises opinion of The Descendents and Clooney's performance. Not only him but the entire cast as good, even Matthew Lillard! I thought it was a wonderful performance, pretty much the opposite of what they think. But I guess they feel the same way about Dujardin, I just don't see it. All i see is him mugging for the Camera, trying to act like a Silent film star. No depth or texture at all. I'd say I'd watch it again to see if I somehow missed the boat but don't want to put myself through it again.

  • I really enjoyed the Artist, as did my 12 year old daughter, who thought it was superb. Both Dujardin and Bejo gave excellent performances. I haven't bought a copy on Blu Ray yet, but I will, it's a unique film and one I could watch again.

    Clooney gets better in every film he does, I was never a Clooney fan, but I thought his performance in the Descendants was excellent, equally good as Dujardin's. I was hoping Clooney got the Oscar.
    I also thought Shailene Woodley was excellent, and had some great scenes with Clooney. I thoroughly enjoyed The Descendants.

    Moneyball was another film I really liked, Pitt was excellent as was Hill.

    Drive was stunning, I've watched it countless times, Gosling is great, but I actually prefer him in Crazy Stupid love and Ides of March. Another film I really like, and another very good performance from Clooney.

    As for Tree of Life, I did sit through it, not many did, it was a mass walk out film, we counted 18 leave, within the first 45 minutes. The section "A boy’s life" was very good, and Pitt was excellent. It's the rest of the film which I didn't like. It's not a rubbish film; it's just not something that really grabbed me.

  • Mike, I agree with you about Moneyball. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. As for Clooney, I really liked him in Up in the Air and The American. I'm not a huge fan of his, but I always enjoy his movies for the most part (except for The Descendants). I don't know what it is about that movie that I didn't like.

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