Just got back from a screening of The Artist. Where do I begin...well, it's a 4:3 BW silent movie and works hard to maintain that facade. The plot and structure are identical to that of Singin' in the Rain, albeit drearier and without an iota of humor. The lead actor is miscast and insufferably boring. The way the relationships are drawn out makes absolutely no sense; it requires a suspension of disbelief. There is no point to this movie. It has nothing new to say, in fact nothing to say at all. The director's attempts at visual creativity fall flat; it just makes you want to go watch a Keaton movie, where real genius is at work. Here's the worst part: the director is not even competent at his own conceit. Silent movies are still supposed to have title cards, and this one had very few. I suppose he wanted to make it as visual as possible, but the result is several instances where I could not follow what was going on. By the end of it, I thought I was going to be sick. It's a seriously bad movie; the kind my great grandparents would have walked out of.
My honest prediction: the best picture prediction will ultimately be a fluke. People are not going to flock to see this movie, as there is no way word of mouth will be positive; believe me on this one. This is not a sleeper hit; it's a mediocre entry at your local town's film festival at best. Save your 10 bucks; the movie sucks.
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