I saw “The Artist” (2011) in early December, and as I didn’t start this blog until January, I wasn’t planning on writing about it until I saw it again. You see, I believe that its better to write a review after a fresh viewing rather than as a memory of what you once saw, because memories can be selective. After last night’s Academy Awards ended with “The Artist” picking up 5 Oscars, including Best Picture, I feel that I can relay some of my thoughts on the film.
“The Artist” is notable for a number of reasons: its a black and white silent film staring foreign actors and shown in a 1:37 aspect ratio. All of these things go against what Hollywood has been purporting for decades: that the public will only see a film that is in color, stereo, wide-screen, and staring a big named American actor. There’s a long history as to how and why these thoughts came to dominate, but I’ll just summarize it as being that people only want what is new and in drawing people away from their televisions and into the cinemas they need to be bombarded by as much technological advancement as we can stuff into it. The latest technological invasion in the movies is a re-hash of that 60s miracle – 3D.
“The Artist” defied the current Hollywood standard, proving that a good movie is not dependent on the latest and greatest. It just needs to have a good story that is told well. My greatest hope is that people who see this film with an open mind will become interested in seeing other silent films. There are so many great movies from the early days of cinema that should be watched and enjoyed.