Friday, August 26, 2011

The Artist -- A Silent Film Up For Best Picture in 2011 !??

When I did my initial "Most Anticipated Films" list back in January, the Cannes favourite, silent film, The Artist was not even on my radar, but here we are coming up on September and what do ya know -- along with von Trier's Melancholia, it is one of my two most anticipated films for the last quarter of 2011.  Directed by Michael Hazanavicius (known, but not overly so, for his satiric nouveau Bond-like OSS 117 series across the pond) and winner of the Best Actor award at Cannes for French star Jean Dujardin, The Artist, the story of a silent film star afraid to face the coming of sound and forced to watch the woman he has started up an affair with rising to the top as he is falling (a la A Star is Born), is actually a true blue silent film.  Shot in glorious black and white and in a 1.33:1 aspect, the film is made to look and feel (and sound?) like a silent era motion picture.  Glenn Heath, Jr. at The House Next Door, said of the film, "Striking black-and-white cinematography and brilliant flourishes of sound amid an otherwise silent landscape give The Artist its stylistic identity, but this story of evolution and adaptation is all about the power of on-screen chemistry."

The film is being released in the U.S. in November (I plan on seeing it at the New York Film Festival before then though) and is actually getting some Oscar buzz.  The field of Best Pic nominees has widened to more than five these days, so it is a possibility that a silent film will be up for the top prize for the first time since 1929, or perhaps a Best Actor nod for Dujardin (last seen in the wonderful Little White Lies).  Anyway, here is the trailer for this terrific looking new film.  For some reason, the trailer refuses to be made full screen (little bugger!) but if you click on the "YouTube" tab on the video, you can watch it full screen - otherwise enjoy the tiny (but still quite striking) trailer here.


FlickChick said...

I was very excited to hear about this film and can't wait to see it!

Kevyn Knox said...

It is playing at the NYFF. I so hope the schedule fits with mine and I can get to see it at its press screening.