Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • PG
  • Drama
  • 2011

The Artist

The Artist

Synopsis

Silent movie star George Valentin is affronted when the studio demand that he do this new 'talking' thing that's the next big gimmick in showbusiness. But Peppy Miller isn't so shy...

About

It's difficult to convey the simultaneous loveliness and intelligence of The Artist without resorting to massively off-putting film critic-ish words like 'limitless', 'peerless' and 'irresistible', but I'll do my best to hold them at bay.

This is a truly excellent film, not just one of the films of the year, but a film of the decade. At a time in cinema's history when a lot of brand new technology and cutting edge techniques are being used to tell familiar stories over and over again, here's a film with the chutzpah to ape the oldest style in the book - a silent, black and white film - and use this style to tell a tale involving original characters. Yep, original characters. Not mutants from a comic book, heroes from a long-cancelled TV show, or the younger prequel versions of an old film favourite. Original characters.

Said characters are somehow loveable from the get-go, even though the actors only have their physical presence to work with in gaining our sympathy. No quick witted one-liners or velvety-voiced come-ons here - George Valentin and Peppy Miller are vividly drawn (and with a charm that eludes the majority of contemporary romantic leads), despite (or because of?) George and Peppy's lack of dialogue.

The storyline is hardly radical - the fall of one star, the rise of another - but what really marks The Artist out as a work of genius is how much fun it is. It's easy to convince people you've an artistic soul if you spend your time Suffering Visibly - it's making it all look easy that's hard. But The Artist is one of those elusive films that's both funny, smart and seemingly effortless.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman
  • Director: Michel Hazanavicius
  • Photographer: Guillaume Schiffman
  • Composer: Ludovic Bource

In a nutshell

Goofily gorgeous, heartfelt and endlessly rewatchable, this is the true meaning of escapism - a doorway to another world, a world created to entertain eyes, heart and brain.

by Catherine Bray

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Suffragette

    Suffragette

    Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham-Carter star in Sarah Gavron's drama about the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement

  • Film4 Notorious

    Notorious

    The story of the life and death of Chris Wallace, known to his fans as the legendary rap artist Notorious B.I.G.

  • Film4

    Saoirse Ronan on Arrietty

    The actress talks about lending her voice to the Studio Ghibli adventure

  • Film4 Hope Springs

    Hope Springs on Film4

    Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones star as a married couple who turn to Steve Carell's therapist for help with spicing things up in David Frankel's authentic comedy-drama on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Dark Horse: Welsh Premiere Announced

    [caption id="attachment_4385" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance[/caption] Sundance Award winner Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream A

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Bobcat Goldthwait on God Bless America

    "To me, the best part about being famous is taking down phonies..." As God Bless America receives its UK TV premiere on Film4, writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait (World¿s Greatest Dad, Willow Creek) lo

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share