- Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin
- Actress in a Supporting Role: Bérénice Bejo
- Art Direction: Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
- Film Editing: Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
- Best Picture: Thomas Langmann, Producer
- Writing (Original Screenplay): Written by Michel Hazanavicius
- Costume Design: Mark Bridges
- Directing: Michel Hazanavicius
- Music (Original Score): Ludovic Bource
A review by spacedcowboy
This is the movie of the year. In a year where I have struggled to find the movie of the ages, the movie of the year – the movie that our descendants will look back upon, and wonder why their movies aren’t so good (and no, that movie is not The Decendents…) – The Artist hits the mark. I’m speechless.
It’s been a tough year to find movies like that. However, The Artist rises above and is exactly the movie of the year, for all years.
Plot synopsis from imdb.com:
Outside a movie premier, enthusiastic fan Peppy Miller literally bumps into the swashbuckling hero of the silent film, George Valentin. The star reacts graciously and Peppy plants a kiss on his cheek as they are surrounded by photographers. The headlines demand: “Who’s That Girl?” and Peppy is inspired to audition for a dancing bit-part at the studio. However as Peppy slowly rises through the industry, the introduction of talking-pictures turns Valentin’s world upside-down. Written by L. Hamre
Before seeing the film, I had my doubts. My thinking was that it was a gimmick. A silent film created in 2011 for effect, in order to make a creative statement, be cool, stand out among the rest. Blah, blah, blah…
And I’ll admit, I really didn’t want to watch a silent film. Hey, I watch movies while I iron. How in the heck can I iron and watch The Artist????
I was wrong. It turns out that this film must be a silent film. It is essential to the narrative. It is what this film must be. Being a silent movie is not a plot device; rather it is the heart of this remarkable story.
This film is, to some extent, the story of a silent film actor (played brilliantly by Jean Dujardin). With the rise of “talkies”, his era is over, and the torch is passed to the accidental actress who, in many ways, replaces him, played with grace by Bérénice Bejo.
With respect to the nominations:
- Best actor (Jean Dujardin): no contest. With apologies to George, carrying a film with only two words of dialog is a performance for the ages. Your smile alone wins you this Oscar, but I’ll be the first to admit that does no do justice to your command performance. Your only line made the movie for me, but even if you were truly silent, you were the actor of the year.. Bravo. Bravo. Bravo.
- Actress in a Supporting Role (Bérénice Bejo): a great performance, and I look forward to what she does next. Among a tough slate, I don’t think she has a chance in either the will-win or should-win categories. Still, this was a great performance, and we’ll see what she can/will do once she can speak. Also well done.
- Music (Original Score) – Ludovic Bource: this film can’t lose in this category. In one of the few instances in modern filmmaking, the score is an essential element of the story. Without the score, we have a mute, silent film. There is no other choice in this category. Well … almost. There is a controversy brewing about the re-use of music from Vertigo and Kim Novak is in a tizzy. Hopefully this doesn’t harm the film’s chances for Music. The music was almost another character in the film & rarely does this happen.
- Film Editing (Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius): this is a tough category, but The Artist should win here. That the writer was also an editor and the film was still tight is a miracle unto itself. The other nominees did a fine job; the editors here created a masterpiece.
- Writing, Original Screenplay (Michel Hazanavicius): how do you write a screenplay with (almost no) dialog? Michel delivered an insight into an era, into people, into ourselves that speaks loudly with or without words, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris may garner some votes, but The Artist transcends time travel, and is instead a tale for all time.
- Best picture (Thomas Langmann, Producer). Yes. There is no other choice. Not even close.
- Costume Design (Mark Bridges): Very well done. A win would be well-deserved. However, this is a tough category. The Academy loves period pieces, so Jane Eyre may persevere. Don’t know.
- Directing (Michel Hazanavicius): as writer, editor and director of the only film from 2011 that will still be discussed in 2061, Michel wins as Best Director, no contest.
“One more take?”