THE ARTIST – When I first heard about the The Artist, I wasn’t too interested about it. Ever since, I was never a fan of the silent movies era as I personally find films under this genre a complete waste of time. I am a very loud person and sitting down watching a film ran and driven by musical scoring isn’t my thing. I’ll either get uber-stressed at the end or simply fall asleep. That’s why I am flabbergasted to find myself up and awake (and liking every single bit of it) up to the very last screen shot of this masterpiece from Michel Hazanavicius. The Artist is a classic and powerful gem that’ll certainly shape the trend we’re seeing in modern cinema.
For silent films, musical scoring, sound editing and sound engineering are vital. These elements must be 110% better than a standard film as these will help the viewers to connect and digest the message of the film. These serve as the bridge between the movie and the audience. And I felt The Artist succeed on this part and effortlessly communicated the message of the film despite the absence of dialogues. The storyline can also make or break a silent film. It’s got to be a dynamic plot and the subject needs to be very interesting to make it work. It must also jive well with music and therefore The Artist’s central storyline is picture-perfect as it tackles the glitz and the glamour of show business. One last factor that is imperative in the success of a silent film is the actors in it. They have to step up their performances and ensure that they connect with the viewers even without uttering a single word. Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were correspondingly spectacular, exquisite, stunning and magnificent in this film. Dujardin in particular was extraordinary and deserves every recognition he is getting at the moment. His eyes were very expressive which can naturally speak a thousand words. He has the charisma and magnetism required from a silent movie actor. Bejo has also managed to exude and emanate a strong screen presence and was also outstanding. I wouldn’t classify her performance as a Best Actress material but a Supporting nod should be fine.
Can it win this year’s Academy Awards Best Picture? DEFINITELY! Without a shadow of a doubt. Its strongest contender would have to be The Descendants but apart from that, no other film has reached the same level of excellence as The Artist. It is on a league of its own and truly world-class.