In: Film and Music
In current world of moviemaking, films are often created to meet the formula that appeal to today’s audiences. Modern movies offer high action, incredible special effects, 3D, or 3D animation to capture the audience’s attention, but one Oscar winning film deviated from this traditional recipe, “The Artist”. French director Michel Hazanavicius brought back to life the bygone era of silent movies and broke the current Hollywood blueprint. A quote from the novel “The Chosen” seems appropriate when describing this film, “I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own” (Potok, 1967).
The year is 1927 and Hollywood is in its last few years of silent movie production. A new and exciting medium is starting to make its way into the theaters, the “talkies.” George Valentine (Jean Dujardin), a mixture of Rudolf Valentino, Errol Flynn, and Douglas Fairbanks, is the biggest superstar at the studio he works for and on the silent screen. Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) is the fledgling extra looking to find her way in Hollywood. Peppy, with her unforgettable smile and charm makes an impression on George who happens to be at odds with his wife in his personal life. There is obvious chemistry between the two that is sparked in a playful dance scene when George mimics the steps of Peppy, but doesn’t realize who it is because he can only see her legs. George and Peppy meet again when she is cast as an extra in one of his movies and this is the moment the romance begins. But the era of silent movies is passing George by and he is failing to see the potential of talkies. Peppy, on the other hand, is a rising star in Hollywood and all to eager to embrace the future of film. Hollywood stops the production of all silent movies in 1929 just as the stock market is about to crash. George is trying to find his way and insisting talking movies will never be...