I recently had the pleasure to see ‘The Artist’, which is a film that has generated tons of Oscars buzz for director Michel Hazanavicius and actor Jean Dujardin. In fact, Dujardin has already picked up Best Actor awards at such heavy-hitters as the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the 2012 Golden Globes, and the 2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Hazanavicius is doing pretty well himself – he’s received universal acclaim and over 15 awards for his duties as director and screenwriter for the film.
This movie is shot entirely in black-and-white, with very, very little dialogue. Essentially this is a silent film about the decline of Hollywood’s silent film era and the rise of the talkies. As you can see in the movie poster above, this film re-creates the look and atmosphere of Hollywood in the 1920s and 30s. The men have perfectly sculpted hair, tiny mustaches, and are impeccably dressed. The women have tightly curled hair, beautiful flapper dresses and hats, and can dance a mean Charleston.
George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent film superstar. At the premiere of his latest film, ‘A Russian Affair’, a young and adoring woman named Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) accidentally bumps into Valentin. The moment is caught by reporters and the next day her face is plastered all over the newspaper. This new fame helps her wiggle her way into her first silent film and her career begins to take off.
Peppy joins Hollywood at the right time, because she is the new face for the much-anticipated ‘talkie’ era. George is a little more resistant and this film chronicles his frustration with the decline of his career. There’s also a subplot where the audience witnesses Peppy’s patient and enduring love for the star who indirectly launched her career.
I simply adored this movie. I’m a huge sucker for the classic black-and-white Hollywood films and I feel this movie really does justice to the era it depicts. I love the sparing use of title cards because it really makes you watch the characters’ facial expressions and body language to figure out what’s happening in the scene. This movie is also sped up a little bit, just like the films of the 1920s. Nice!!
Lastly, I must say this: Jean Dujardin is incredibly handsome in his role as George Valentin. Dujardin is a frontrunner for the Oscars Best Actor award and I’ll be glued to my TV later this month to root for him.
Alot of movie theaters in my area have stopped showing The Artist. If you haven’t seen it yet get out and catch it before it leaves your area. You may want to check your local artsy fartsy movie theater. 🙂
My goal is to keep celebrity foolishness away from my blog. I’ll let Perez Hilton handle that mess. But this is something I must address, and I’d like to address this directly to Rihanna.
Ok honey, we get it. You’ve told us for years how much of a bad girl you are, even though you have no bar fights or police arrests credited to your name. I don’t think you’ve shared any stories about drugs that you sold prior to becoming a pop star, and I’m pretty sure you have never looked down the barrel of a gun that was pointed towards your face. I’m willing to bet that you have lived a safe life without fear of injury or death. Yes, you had the Chris Brown incident but instead of whipping out a pocket knife or razor on his ass (like a bad girl would’ve done) you took those punches and then headed to the police station.
Sweetheart, the truth is simple: you’re a hot girl who likes to drink, smoke, and have sex. That doesn’t make you bad. It just makes you normal and honest. When you get into a few fist fights and accumulate a gallery of mug shots then we can debate whether or not you’re a true ‘bad’ girl.
Right now you’re just an idiot who inexplicably has ‘Thug Life’ tattooed on your fingers. Have you ever met a real thug? Do you go to the hood to get your weed or do you have an assistant go to the suburbs and buy your weed from a friendly white guy? Girl, bye!
I recently saw the Tintin movie and I have two opinions about it.
1st, the animation is wonderful. Just amazing. The characters and the scenery are very life-like, and in close-up shots of the characters you can see the hair on their head move. I loved it.
2nd, I’ll admit that I know nothing about the Tintin cartoons or books. But I was very surprised by how ‘adult’ this movie seemed. I can easily see the plot going over the kids’ heads. This is strange to me because right now, this movie is being marketed as a children’s movie.
This movie will exhaust you with its large amount of fast, action-packed scenes. Once the movie begins there is no down time, and I was relieved once the end credits started rolling. It felt like I took a huge gasp of breath at the beginning and couldn’t truly exhale until the end.
The sad part about movies that are packed with action scenes is the character development suffers. It’s hard to know what a character is thinking or feeling when they’re flying through the air and avoiding impending death and doom. All of the characters came across as stereotypical, one-dimensional people. You have the good guy- Tintin. Trusty companion- Snowy. Comic relief – The Thompson twin detectives. Evil bad guy- Sakharine. Bumbling fool who becomes useful as the movie goes along – Haddock.
This is what really disappointed me about Tintin: there was no affection or compassion shown between Tintin and the other characters (not even his dog Snowy). At some points I felt Tintin was pushy, overly dramatic, and even a little ruthless as he hunted down the secret of the Unicorn, a sunken ship that held a vast amount of gold and jewelry.
I can’t give much credit to Steven Speilberg, who directed the movie. I don’t think he clearly defined his target audience and the movie suffered greatly from this. I have no idea who to recommend this movie to, but it’s so empty and dull that I don’t think anyone should see it.
Earlier this month I finally saw Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. It’s a FANTASTIC movie with lots of action that was entertaining but not overwhelming. I’m not a Jeremy Renner fan but if he keeps choosing roles like this he might win me over.
I think the Mission: Impossible franchise works so well because of Tom Cruise and his celebrity. No other actor can take over the franchise when Cruise decides to retire, because there is no actor who can match Cruise’s celebrity.
A great example is the scene where the above photo takes place. Simon Pegg plays a geeky, tech specialist who gives Ethan Hunt these awesome gloves. Ethan needs to climb outside of the hotel room they’re in and scale the building Spiderman-style so he can access an upper level of the hotel. These gloves have suctions on the hands and wrist that will keep Ethan from falling.
Sounds crazy, right? Well, it is. This would be a terrible idea in real life. Ethan would die and the movie would be over. But Tom Cruise makes this idea seem so rational and plausible that I was waiting for him to hurry up and scurry along the outside of the building so we can keep the film moving along.
Let’s face it- Tom Cruise is a little crazy, a little eccentric, very opinionated, far removed from the plight of the “average” people, and a super famous, super celebrity. He’s jumped on couches, left one eerie marriage to enter into a creepy marriage, and he spawned a mini-robot who seems to be just as exhausting and high-maintenance as he is.
I think Tom is such a huge celebrity that it’s hard to see him in a movie and not think ‘Hey that’s Tom Cruise’. Just from my viewpoint, I always have a hard time separating the man from his character. Except in ‘Collateral.’ That was a damn good movie.
In short, I think Tom works well in the M:I movies because each movie is so over the top and so ridiculous at times that it requires some one who lives ridiculous and over the top in their real life. That pleasure goes to Tom Cruise, for good or for bad. I haven’t decided which one.
If you read my previous posts about FX’s American Horror Story then you know I love, love, love Jessica Lange’s portrayal of Constance.
The lovely Ms. Lange beat out Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) for the Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Film award. This is her fifth Golden Globes win. Congrats!!
Hey folks. I took some time away from my blog to enjoy the holidays. I spent some wonderful evenings with my family, my boyfriend, and his family. I also picked up some awesome Christmas gifts.
The biggest gift I received was from my boyfriend. He bought me a Kindle Fire! And Captain America stuff. My heart belongs to him eternally….well, until next Christmas when he’ll have to give me a bigger and better gift.