So the mostly-silent, black-and-white film "The Artist" made quite an impression during this year's awards season. After 10 nominations, the film scored five statues at last night's Academy Awards, including the coveted Best Picture award. That's in addition to three Golden Globes (for Best Movie (Musical or Comedy), Best Original Score and Best Actor) earlier this year.
Never seen it? Never even heard of it until recently? You’re not alone. But since it's all the buzz now, you may want to familiarize yourself. Also, people seem to think it’s really, really good. Here’s the rundown:
What:"The Artist" is a French film that is shot in black-and-white. Since it focuses on the shift in Hollywood from silent to sound films, it is also mostly silent (yet there is music, hence it’s inclusion in the “musical or comedy” category.)
Who: The main actors, Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, portray a falling silent film actor, and a rising "talkie" film actress, respectively. Yes, they’re both French. Dujardin has won a slew of awards already for his performance, including the Golden Globe for Best Actor last night, and Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. You’ll recognize at least one face, though: John Goodman has a role as the head of the film studio.
When/Where: The film takes place in late '20s/ early '30s Hollywood, when silent films were being replaced with sound films, or “talkies.” The stock market crash of 1929 also plays an important role.
Why: In addition to all of the awards, the movie has a 97% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which sums up the film as a “crowd-pleasing tribute to the magic of silent cinema… a clever, joyous film with delightful performances and visual style to spare.”
Interested? Have you seen the film? If so, weigh in and let us know if you think it’s worth all the hype.