Could I really enjoy a black-and-white silent movie?
It was a toss-up yesterday between The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Artist. We both favoured the former, the latter feeling like a bit of a duty in view of its numerous awards. However, the timings were better for The Artist so, with some reservations, we went.
What a surprise!
It’s a simple story, beautifully told: a rising talkie star eclipses an unfashionable silent movie star. As his fortunes decline, so does his mental stability. It’s moving – I was surprised when I felt the tears pricking – yet uplifting. It’s also completely mesmerising. The consummate acting is enhanced by the lack of dialogue, and the understated gestures and expressions make words redundant. It’s beautifully shot. Berenice Bejo is absolutely stunning and a joy to watch. Jean Dujardin is charming and powerfully portrays the emotions accompanying his decline. And we mustn’t forget Uggie, a loyal and loveable little character.
For an hour and a half I was transported to a magical land.
As I’ve already said, I went to see this film somewhat reluctantly. After all, movies that receive so many awards can often leave you wondering what all the fuss was about. Not in this case though, here it was thoroughly deserved.
The Artist has created a masterpiece.