The Artist – Enjoy the Charm of the Unknown

31/05/2012 20:16


There are movies that attract your attention by huge marketing. There are some that you watch because they feature your favorite actor or actress. There are some that you decide to watch because they have won loads of Oscars, Golden Globes, Palme d’Ors and whatnot. And then there are movies that you need to know nothing of before you watch them for the very first time.


If you have already heard anything about The Artist, do not try to find more information, do not google anything, do not check the Rotten Tomatoes or the imdb ratings, do not even continue reading this review, just book a ticket in your cinema and go see it yourself – because it is brilliant.


I myself went to see it without knowing anything, and I mean anything about it. I heard its name before once or twice(ish) and that was just about it. I had no idea what it was about, who its director was or who was starring in it; I just heard it was good and that seemed like a fair reason to go to the cinema. And I was quite blown away. I had nearly forgotten how great it is to watch a movie without doing a thorough research into it beforehand, and it works even more with this flick.


If you decided to continue reading despite my warnings, then I will deliberately veil everything I can and I will make it sound all hazy and vague not to disclose anything important, so that the magic of mystery and surprise can do their trick. The plot revolves around a successful Hollywood actor who helps a budding new star rise to fame. It describes their subtle love story in the midst of the fickle life of show business presented in a slightly different way than we are used to these days.


Though a French-made movie, its story is set in Hollywood and the movie is in the English language. Its cast is a multi-national mixture of French and American actors, featuring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman and James Cromwell. Its director, Michel Hazanavicius, had previously been making movies chiefly in French and it is with this romantic comedy drama that he found international success.


Apparently I was not the only one who was pleased with The Artist. In fact, it is the most awarded French film in history. It has received five Academy Awards and was nominated for ten, it was nominated for six Golden Globes (the most of the 2011 films) and won three of them and it won seven BAFTAs out of twelve nominations (also the biggest number of nominations for a 2011 film). Paradoxically, this actually makes it “one of those movies you will watch because they have tons of awards,” but still I think it is worth mentioning. Overall, it holds a total number of 106 awards and accolades, which it has garnered in less than a year after its release (just to compare, the highest-grossing film in the history, Avatar, holds 72 awards). The huge success of this movie catapulted its director and its actors from France-known personalities into international stars, who can now take pride in having several awards for the best director, actor or actress.


The Artist is definitely a movie you should see, but not because of its awards or its box office performance or some superlatives people use to describe it with, but because it is an outstanding movie. And that is all you need to know.

Ľuboš Dudík



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