Director Michel Hazanavisius' "The Artist" is an interesting, sweet film, BUT..... This new, nearly 100% silent movie is a new spin on the "Star is Born" storyline with two people falling in love from a distance as one's star rises and the others fades. Leads Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo are very good, especially Dujardin as fading silent movie star George Valentin. The more I watched, the more I was drawn into the silent storytelling and power of the music and photography and the actors ability to make you feel so much without dialogue....BUT "Best Picture" nominee and 10 Oscar Nominations? Really? Hmm...this says more about the Weinstein's ability to lobby Academy Members (anyone remember "Shakespeare in Love" beating "Saving Private Ryan" for Best Picture....come on!) than it does about this quiet, little, well done movie. My other beef: how do you nominate Ludovic Bource for best music score, when the entire last ten minutes of score is actually Bernard Herrman's classic score from Hitchcock's "Vertigo"...movie music nerds everywhere call foul (consider me one of them). Best Picture? NO An enjoyable, creative movie with a GREAT performance by Dujardin? YES. I'll give the Artist a solid B.
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