(PG) Roadshow DVD/BD
Directed and written by Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist is a silent black and white film – but that is no reason to dismiss it. In fact, it is pure movie magic, drawing favourable comparisons with the joyful classic Singin’ in the Rain (1952).
“Like any branch of film there are some very boring films alongside the masterpieces,” says Hazanavicius of silent cinema. “It was important not to think of [The Artist] as an ‘old movie’. It’s now, it’s new. But you have the benefit of this neglected format which gives you some exciting options as a storyteller.”
Jean Dujardin’s performance drives The Artist. His smile is infectious and charisma appears to ooze out of his every pore. The perfect leading man, he is utterly convincing as both the joyful, successful star and the washed-up, lonely, heartbroken failure.
Berenice Bejo’s lovely Peppy is filled with youthful radiance and a fighting spirit.
The rest of the cast includes John Goodman as a shrewd film executive who embraces the changing times, Missi Pyle as George’s easily irritated diva co-star and George’s movie sidekick and faithful companion, a Jack Russell terrier who never abandons his master, even coming to his rescue during the lowest point of his life.
For a charming, entertaining and visually beautiful experience, you need look no further than The Artist.