Comments on watching and making films.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Artist

Hollywood has a way of patting itself on the back with films, which is why it seems odd that a French filmmaker would pull together two French leads to make a film that comes off as another Hollywood mirror gazer.

The Artist stars Jean DuJardin as George Valentin, a prototypical silent film era star, who, upon the invention of sound, is forced out of the studio he has made countless dollars for. When he mounts his own production, he sticks with the same type of silent movies that made him famous, and tanks, costing him everything. Berenice Bejo, who plays Peppy Miller, an actress discovered and made famous by Valentin, feels bad for the star, who has fallen into a self destructive cycle, culminating with him lighting his apartment and belongings on fire, in hopes that he will also be consumed by the flames. When his dog manages to get him rescued, and Valentin is taken to the hospital, Miller visits and opens her world to him, letting him get back up on his feet, and even bringing him back into the fold of the studio that had tossed him aside.

This film is pretty much drivel. I don't recommend it at all. The only redeeming aspect of it is Miller's obvious love for Valentin. She seems to genuinely care about the man, but The Artist's hit you over the head, and then beat you while you're down message of pride coming before the fall is just Hollywood giving itself a pass to push aside the very people that made it what it is today. So many stars, talented people, were simply tossed aside when sound came in to play. A whole generation of potential was thrown in the trash, almost overnight. Sorry Hollywood, but The Artist won't convince me you were in the right, and considering how people have rediscovered some of the awesome talent of the silent era through home video, I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one who's calling shenanigan's on this one.

No comments: