Saturday, January 07, 2012


THE ARTIST has everything I love in a movie. It's silent. (Much like Gary Rydstrom, I somehow wound up doing sound on movies even though I was originally attracted to film because of silent geniuses like Keaton and Hitchcock).

And it's got a cure, heroic dog. Not as cute as our Riley, but Riley is not as well trained.

But the film is not perfect, and it's certainly not best picture material. When did it become acceptable to lift entire musical sequences from famous films and recycle them as your own? (I'm looking at you, AMERICAN HORROR STORY.) Is it really that hard to be original?

There's a lot I liked about the movie, especially the historical references, but one of the reasons that the silent era died was that the stories were often too simple and melodramatic. (Not the great ones, of course.) But this movie commits the same sins, the two main characters are pretty one-dimensional, and their actions are all very predictable. Maybe the director should have watched Murnau more than Chaplin.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend the film for fans of Hollywood history. It's a lot of fun.

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