This film was recently brought to my attention by a co-worker and I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear about it. Directed by Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist was completely shot in black-and-white, in Academy Ratio (1.33:1) and is completely silent! Starring Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Missi Pyle and Penelope Ann Miller, the film takes place in 1927 and centers around silent film star George Valentin. At the dawn of sound, he’s worried his career might fall into shambles; whereas, in contrast, young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) sees the transition as an opportunity to propel to stardom.
The film made it’s debut at the Cannes Film Festival the other week and won Best Actor for Jean Dujardin. In addition, the Weinstein Company have negotiated to bring it to wide release later this year, both domestically and internationally. Could this film possibly be the first silent film in Oscar contention for Best Picture in nearly 70 years? Could it be the first silent film to win Best Picture since the beginning of the Academy Awards in 1927 with Wings?
Being a huge fan of silent films, I can only hope for such happenings. I can’t wait for the release to see if this film really is as good as so many critics say it is. In the meantime, I will have to be happy with the trailer, which is available in HD at: