And not only because it has faces.
Unknown faces, if we consider wider audience and those who are not familiar with Michel Hazanavicius work.
Michel Hazanavicius take on the silent cinema really proved to be most entertaining cinema experience I had in a long time. Not because its witty and appealing cinematography or amazing lead actors, also because it shows deep love for the cinema.
Those are the famous Norma Desmond words from Billy Wilder cinematic masterpiece Sunset Boulevard. Few words that perfectly summarized the arrival of the sound era and desperation of those who couldn´t make it through.
Humans talks a lot, that can’t be denied. The artist look at this in a funny style. First words we can read are “Speak”. And the main hero, famous silent era actor George Valentin promptly refuses to talk. And he continues to do so during the whole movie. He is a perfect silent protagonist – adventure type of actor, something between Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino, and he certainly knows how to look good on the camera. These subtle nods to the Golden age of the cinema are only few of the many amazing moments in The Artist.
Nowadays you just can’t find film without dialogue. Of course there are some exceptions, for example Kim Ki-Duk film 3-Iron is practically without a dialogue. This film is perfect example of – when something that was considered outdated (and died in a 1927) was able to rise again. Myself, I love silent cinema (especially comedy and Buster Keaton), its visual humour, films where directors knew how to work with the setting around them and how to create original film universe.
And that’s why this film is for all of us. For those who loves films in general, for audience interested in art cinema, or even for the more mainstream fans looking for straightforward story. Plot itself consist from many well-known films (as the main inspiration for the film was John Gilbert and Greta Garbo relationship) as – 7th Heaven, Murnau´s Sunrise, Douglas Fairbanks Mark of Zorro, Citizen Kane or most notably Singing in the rain (even if The Artist is much more braver, for refusing to use any kind of dialogue). Story structure reminded me of all those old flicks, although the narration conventions here, were used in a very original and creative way.
And I don’t care if this movie is advertised as a possible Academy Awards Best Picture candidate. I would definitely suggest it to everyone. Simply, because it’s amazing and entertaining movie. Without unnecessary talk, famous faces in the main roles, full of pure cinema joy.
And also because it meets all the expectation I have for watching films.