The Artist: Silence Is Golden?

Categories: Film

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A new silent movie about the heyday of silent movies, The Artist has crisp black-and-white photography, swelling music, and a likable cast.

At the New York Film Festival showing the other day, star Jean Dujardin explained the filming process:

"Sometimes we talked in French, sometimes in English, and sometimes in gibberish."

Lead actress Bérénice Bejo said her voice was so high, fake, and shrieky as she acted out her parts "that I apologized to the crew. You're lucky you didn't hear it!"

But another cast member cracked that he didn't really care whether the film was silent or not: "The figures on the paycheck are the same."

At the same event, director Michel Hazanavicius revealed that John Goodman agreed to do his supporting part in the film after a mere four-minute meeting, but James Cromwell was not so easily sold.

"He's very cerebral," said Hazanavicius.

"He asked, 'Why a silent movie? Why this story? Why this character? Why me? Why don't you finish your pizza?'"

I guess the guy's not silent at all.



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14 comments
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Keating3232
Keating3232

Hey, Ipswich: Please read more carefully. I didn't say love stories "can't" win Best Picture. I said they "tend" not to win - 16 times in 83 years. 

Rinko
Rinko

That's about one in five years. That doesn't sound that unlikely.

Ipswich
Ipswich

Love stories can't win???

What about Titanic? Slumdog Millionaire?

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

"Handicapped"?

Some of the greatest movies are silents:

Falconetti in "The Passion of Joan of Arc" is acknowledged as the most powerful performance ever put on film.

Chaplin in "The Kid," "City Lights,"  "The Gold Rush" and "The Circus."

"Greed."

Lillian Gish in "The Wind" ...

TCM has been showing Buster Keaton movies all this month and they are incredible.

So many men went to see Garbo silents that their wives were known as "Garbo widows."

Some Laurel & Hardy silent shorts are among the funniest you'll ever see.

Clara Bow has an immediacy, a spontaneity that hasn't dated at all.

When sound came in, it took the movies years to catch up to the sophisticated imagery of the silents.

Keating3232
Keating3232

Michael, since you care about Oscar predicting, here are some very tangible reasons why The Artist may score lots of noms but not win Best Picture: 1) love stories tend not to win Best Picture; 2) Best Picture winner usually has to win Best Director, and i doubt that the Artist's director (whose name no one can remember) will beat Alexander Payne (not to mention Spielberg and Eastwood and Daldry, oh my!); 3) actors' branch (by far the biggest) would have to get behind "The Artist" in a big way, and I don't see them rewarding all the silent-film mugging in "The Artist."    

Having said all this, I saw "The Artist" at NYFF, enjoyed it a lot, and am sure it will do well at the box office.

Ulu
Ulu

You're probably right Maybe it'll just win cinematography and scoring.

Kimdvs56
Kimdvs56

hahahahhahahahhaahah...still laughing...hahahhahaahha

Jefferson
Jefferson

I had no idea James Cromwell was so picky about choosing roles. Is he in that much demand still?

Bars
Bars

Terrible? it's an Oscar frontrunner/

Melinda9
Melinda9

lol - Black Swan got a nomination last year.

Gloria Monti
Gloria Monti

the difference is that bérénice bejo can dance, unlike that troll natalie portman.

Melinda9
Melinda9

I saw the trailer - it looks terrible.

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