Thursday, 26 January 2012

If you want to exit a cinema glowing with pleasure, see "The Artist"

You've probably heard all about The Artist by now. I only knew that it was a silent movie set in that era (I don't really go for silent films); that it was directed by a Frenchman (not invariably a Good Thing); that it had won three Golden Globes and is up for lots of BAFTAs and Oscars (meaningless); that it had a feelgood ending (which I pretty much insist on these days): and that Kim Novak - possibly the worst actress in the history of cinema - claimed she felt "raped" because the film score "borrowed" some of the music from Vertigo (silly old bag - she'd have been more justfied claiming the furniture had plagiarised her acting style).

Well, we saw the film this afternoon in Richmond - and it really is a gem: a witty, funny, warm, poignant souffleé created with oodles of Gallic charm (I'm only writing this way in the hope that my words end up prominently displayed on a poster). It is one of those movies that make the world seem a better, friendlier place (that's the alternative, snappier quote).

The three principle actors - Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo and Uggie (a Jack Russell who steals the show - you can see him put through his paces on American TV here)) are all terrific, as are Jonathan Goodman and James Cromwell (the tall, rangy farmer in Babe). And director Michel Hazanavicius has done a superb job.

I'll leave you with the opening of the film:

Can't wait to see it again!


  1. The day bedore we saw the film, Uggie, the Jack Russell, announced he's retiring from feature films because of his age (10) - but his brother, Dash, is training hard to take his place:

  2. I heard that large numbers of Liverpool cinema goers demanded their money back when they discovered that the film had no dialogue and said that once again they had been victimized by "Southern Sharpies". And this from the curent "European City of Culture" must carry some element of justification?

  3. When I saw this film, the whole cinema was united in silence in a way that no film with dialogue has managed to induce. It's the only film I've ever seen that attracted a round of applause from a Chelsea audience when the credits rolled.