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The Artist


Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 (Academy) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius 
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell  
An image from The Artist

Winner of 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, The Artist is clearly this year's must-see film of the awards season. However, it's rare for a Best Picture winner to be this charming, or this fun.

The Artist tells the story of George Valentin, a huge star of the silver screen, whose world is about to be shattered by the advent of sound. Unable to change with the times, Valentin watches his star fall as Peppy Miller, a girl he helped make her break into Hollywood, takes his place. As his life spirals out of control, Peppy is left wondering what she can do to save the man she loves from himself.

In many ways The Artist is similar to the 1952 film Singin' in the Rain. However, while that was a musical about the transition of cinema to sound, The Artist instead tells the story as a silent film. This distinction helps draw the audience in to Valentin's plight and gives The Artist far more emotional impact.

Michel Hazanavicius does a magnificent job making a silent film accessible to the casual viewer; never letting the lack of dialogue become a barrier to the audience’s enjoyment. Instead Hazanavicius plays with the silent format to maximum effect; a dream sequence of Valentin's nightmares of sound stands out in particular as one of the best scenes in the film.

The Artist is one of the most charming and innovative films of the year. In a time where almost all films are dominated by big budget special effects and the names of their superstar cast, The Artist shows that all you really need is a great story and great acting. Whether you're a movie buff or just a casual viewer, you can't help but be won over.

George Marshall

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Screenings of this film:

2011/2012 Summer Term (35mm)
2011/2012 Summer Term (35mm)