Movie Title: The Artist
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo
Where did I watch it?: Home
The Artist is not a movie I have wanted to watch, but in my quest to see all of the movies that earned the Best Picture Oscar I needed to give this one a try. The Artist’s story is not particularly compelling on paper. It is a love story that also deals with the changing of times. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent film mega star. He and his dog feature regularly in the pictures and everyone loves them. While leaving the set of his latest film he has a chance encounter with Peppy Miller. Peppy (Berenice Bejo) gets some advice from George and they develop a mutual attraction even though George is married. Peppy rises in the pictures as talkies become the norm and George descends into poverty following the stock market crash. This is very true to history. Some movie stars such as Charlie Chaplin were able to transition into talking pictures, but many others such as Bela Lugosi struggled mightily with the transition. George struggles mightily with his newfound failure pawning all his belongings and beginning a slow descent into alcoholism.
Even though George is on the rocks, Peppy still pines for him. George’s driver (James Cromwell) continues to work for him without pay speaking to his character. George’s relationship with his dog is in many ways is the most compelling point of the movie as he stays with him through thick and thin and travels with him everywhere throughout the movie. The dog’s name was Uggie and he put in an incredible performance which I believe superior to his human counterparts. There are a few interesting fantasy elements mixed into the movie as well.
The dog is the most compelling part of the movie. Normally, this would be a bad thing, but Uggie was incredible. Without Uggie the movie would have been mediocre at best. With him, it is a best picture winner. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: Goosebumps (2015)