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THE ARTIST

A SILENT FILM THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES

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By Jess Fenton
2nd February 2012
It’s 1920s Hollywoodland, and arrogant yet charming silent movie superstar George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) suffers a major fall from grace with the introduction of "talkies" and the rise of newfound starlet Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo).

Many film critics have called this film “unique”, but that’s the trick - it’s anything but. It’s an homage. This surprisingly contemporary film is a sweet and yes, slightly self-aware ode to a time and style gone by. Lovingly and delicately put together by French director Michel Hazanavicius (coincidentally married to Bejo), his stunning imitation is as close to perfection as can be. The filmmakers of the golden age of Hollywood would be proud.

Supporting cast members of the English speaking persuasion include John Goodman ('Roseanne'), Missi Pyle (‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’), Penelope Anne Miller (‘Kindergarten Cop’), James Cromwell ('Babe') and constant scene stealer Uggie the dog (‘Water For Elephants’) as George’s on screen co-star and real life companion.

THE ARTIST - TRAILER

Already the winner of 39 awards for the film's cast and crew -including the Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) Golden Globe - 'The Artist' is now vying for ten Academy Awards (to be announced on the 27th February); you know you’re surely in for a winner. This is a silent movie that speaks volumes, even long after the credits have rolled with the on-screen characters running the full gamut of emotions. While George and Peppy experience highs and lows in their lives, their spark and chemistry never falters, urging the audience to stick with them for an utterly beautiful and surprise ending.

The innocence of the silent era movies versus today's jaded and technology-obsessed audience. How will the film hold up? Spectacularly and oh so hard to resist.

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