Best Picture, Actor, Director, Original Score, Costume Design: Academy Awards USA
Best Picture, Actor, Score: Golden Globes USA
Best Picture, Director, Actor, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Score, Costume Design: British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
“Michel Hazanavicius’s black-and-white throwback to cinema’s silent era may seem steeped in fusty nostalgia, but it glitters and gleams with utterly of-the-moment wit and romantic zest.” – Anne Hornaday, The Washington Post
“An undeniably charming homage to Hollywood in the late 1920s.”---Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
“…in Dujardin's performance we discover something extraordinary and lovely, the first truly great silent film performance in about 80 years.”---Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Michel Hazanavicius’The Artistis a love letter to 1920s Hollywood that resurrects silent cinema as a powerful and complex storytelling medium. Shot entirely in black and white, without dialogue, the film is faithful to the period it represents, an affectionate homage to the cinematic possibilities offered by classic silent film.
Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, an actor whose matinee-idol good looks and good-natured charm evokes Douglas Fairbanks at his best. George is at the height of his career in 1927, when he accidentally and literally bumps into a beautiful and aspiring actress named Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), and the ensuing press coverage sets her on the path to unexpected fame.
George, however, quickly finds himself on the downside, as sound begins to dominate the screens. Refusing to accept this modern innovation, he finances his own silent feature and loses it all. His wife leaves him and his fans forget him. Broken and alone, George fades into the shadows of old Hollywood, with only his faithful terrier, Uggie, by his side.
At the same time, new It-girl Peppy finds her fortunes soaring. As her star status rises, she never forgets the man who gave her the start she needed; resolving to help George in any way she can.
The Artisttells a familiar story, but Hazanavicius, cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman and composer Ludovic Bource breathe new life into an old tale. Their skilful handling of a style that could easily have turned into camp sparks a newfound appreciation not only for silent cinema, but also for melodrama and the intense emotional effects the genre can deliver.
Above all,The Artistoffers a joyous look back to a golden age, and will leave audiences nostalgic for a cinematic form that, as Hazanavicius proves, hasn’t lost its resonance.