Sunday, January 22, 2012

97% The Artist

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (167) | Rotten (5)

'The Artist': Michel Hazanavicius's novelty film owes much to Jean Dujardin's irresistible smile

For a movie that is so much about technique, it's surprising how affecting the story is.

The Artist is the most surprising and delightful film of 2011.

A silent movie shot in sumptuous black-and-white, no less. A silent flick made with not a jot of distancing winking, but instead born of a heady affection for a bygone, very bygone, era of filmmaking.

It's a rocket to the moon fueled by unadulterated joy and pure imagination.

Strangely, wonderfully, The Artist feels as bold and innovative a moviegoing experience as James Cameron's bells-and-whistles Avatar did a couple of years ago.

'The Artist' offers a unique cinematic experience in an age when extremely loud sound effects attack our eardrums while watching so many current movies.

The Artist delights in an ingeniously straightforward way that exceeds many a modern, technologically advanced, effects-loaded, big-budget blockbuster.

A silent movie that speaks louder and with more power than a dozen films packed with pages and pages of dialogue. Definitely the year's best movie.

Imaginative, gorgeous, witty and even kind of sexy.

A gift that keeps on giving, The Artist is a film that demands your attention at every moment. All senses are glued to the screen and director Michel Hazanavicius delivers with drama, laughter, romance and stellar performances from his cast.

Has the allure of a freshness it may not entirely deserve, but one that makes it go down very smoothly.

Initially, the lack of spoken dialogue is discomfiting. Once you've adjusted to its storytelling conventions, though, you almost forget that this is a silent film.

I'm not sure Hazanavicius' love letter to the cinema is, in fact, the most outstanding movie of last year. But who would deny that it stands out from the motion-picture pack?

In a strange way, it's not unlike The Matrix -- only this time the red pill transports you into the futuristic world of sound, rather than a cynical world of two increasingly abysmal sequels.

Completely fun. Dujardin defies time periods. Bejo is all sparkly effervescence.

Was there ever a guy who could play an old school movie studio mogul like John Goodman? No.

A movie that is so old-fashioned from beginning to end that it's literally a breath of fresh air.

Visually stunning, imaginative, and cleverly scored and choreographed, The Artist is quite simply and quietly, the year's finest film.

Deeper than mere mimicry...

The Artist plays less like an original take on the early sound era than as fan fiction set in the world of Singin' in the Rain.

[C]ould have been all about the gimmick. Marvelously, it isn't. And yet its marvelousness is wrapped up in the gimmick... [A] sweet, deep passion for The Movies... throbs through The Artist and makes it sing.

A story that's so sweet and innocent, it's practically forgivable for being the awards bait it's being offered up as.

The Academy Awards are the biggest annual party that Hollywood throws for itself, and The Artist is a movie that worships Hollywood. Looks like a done deal.

See it, but remember: no talking.

A silent love song that anyone who adores film can nonetheless hear, loud and clear!

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