Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Artist Review - 4 Stars

The Artist pays tribute to everything we love about movies.  Shot in black and white, without dialog but with music and sound effects, it uses silent film techniques to tell a story that combines “A Star is Born” with “Singing in the Rain.”  Great looking Jean Dujardin opens the film as a silent star drinking in the applause after the premiere of his latest adventure.   After the program he literally runs into Berenice Bejo, an ambitious extra.  Sparks fly.  And as silent film gives way to sound, her career ascends while his descends.  “The Artist” fills its story with subtle tributes to the great films of the last century—“Citizen Kane” “Sunset Boulevard” “Vertigo” — it uses the original more square ratio of early film and tells its story without computer aid.  Great cast includes John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcolm McDowell.   Does it deliver what it promises?  Old fashioned storytelling in the best sense of the word.  Is it entertaining?  Stays with you.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Yes.