This week in Entertainment:
Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban reviews The Artist and
Mary Fran Bontempo brings you her take on the new NBC show SMASH
and the 2012 Grammy Awards.
Scroll down to read each post and be sure you don’t miss a thing!
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius
Reviewed by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
The Artist is that rare movie that is both a crowd pleaser and has earned seriously positive reviews from as much as 97% of the critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten Tomatoes, that most difficult to please online review site, describes it as “A crowd-pleasing tribute to the magic of silent cinema, The Artist is a clever, joyous film with delightful performances and visual style to spare.”
I agree with most of the praise: The acting is superb, and not over the top, which it could have easily been considering that it’s a silent movie and as silent movie star Norma Desmond famously says in Sunset Blvd.: “We didn’t need words. We had faces.” The music is great, the doggie, oh! so cute, and even the musical numbers (not my favorite part in any occasion) had spark this time.
Yet, I wasn’t transported. I never forgot I was watching a movie.
I think the reason ultimately was that the plot was predictable (silent star fails to adapt when the “talkies” arrive), and the characters, for all their on screen charm (they are actors, after all, in the story) don’t really rise above the cliché.
Jean Dujardin, our protagonist, is charming, but not especially likable. He pays no attention to his wife. When at one point, she tells him: “I’m unhappy,” his answer is: “So are millions of us.” Really?
And the love story between the silent screen star and the lovely newcomer never felt believable for me. It went from inappropriate (he’s married and 15-20 years her senior) to seriously creepy and beyond.
Yes, The Artist is charming and a charming tribute to an era when movies were still new and full of promises. And both the public and the critics love it.
But for me it didn’t work. Not totally.
I’m in the minority though. The Artist has so far won three Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture–Musical or Comedy, Best Original Score, and Best Actor–Motion Picture Musical or Comedy) and was nominated for ten Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Hazanavicius, Best Actor in a Leading Role for Dujardin, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Bejo. Plus, the film is up for ten Cesar Awards (the French Oscars).
If you still wonder whether The Artist is for you, here is the official trailer to help you decide.