Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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The Artist

Should have been called The Actor**. I went to see this film last night with expectations of fine acting and directing, quality B&W cinematography, lighting and makeup, and a highly entertaining script with a fine silent film style score.

None of the above.

There were some excellent 30's costumes, but mostly flapper style, nothing elegant.

Leading lady Bérénice Bejo reminded me of a young Carol Burnett, but with more grace. 90% of the acting skill in the film came from her.

I was disappointed in the huge role they gave John Goodman, who turns out to not be a very talented silent actor. The leading man did not do much acting either. His dog was okay, but had a limited repertoire.

The score was not worthy. Most of the time it did not connect with the action on the screen. It was mostly fluff, with some heavy-handed frenetic bits in a couple of key scenes. No way would it have been played for a real silent movie.

The film stock sucked lemons through a garden hose, and was processed to look grainy and old. The makers obviously never saw the later Chaplin movies. A top draw like the leading man in this film would have rated excellent lighting and film stock. Instead we got drek. Horrible lighting except in a couple of brief outdoor snippets. Makeup was as minimal as they could get away with. Some of the lenses were way distorted on the edges like cheap wide angle lenses. You wouldn't find those in a leading movie studio.

It was a pleasant surprise to see Malcolm McDowell in a cameo.

The dance routine at the end was energetic, but will not wipe Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers off the map. 

I only laughed out loud three times, and two of those times were for cute set and props gags (for example, the leading lady's character name Peppy is spelled two or three different ways on the cast lists and posters). I did not cry at all. I was not entertained.

Bottom line: Meh.

**Yes, I saw the reference in the film, and thought it contrived.
Tags: movies, review

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