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The Artist

Directed by Michel Hazanavicius

France, 2011

Cornerhouse, 8 January 2012

The Artist

Cinema doesn’t get any better than this.

You get romance, glamour, tragedy, redemption and – to top it all off – a policeman chasing a dog.  Imagine: a policeman chasing a dog.

The film looks at Hollywood during the period when cinema was changing over from silent movies to talkies.  George Valentin, a silent actor with a fetching Clark Gable mustache, must adapt to advances in technology and changes to public taste.

It is a gorgeous film and has some glorious performances, particularly from Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo and Uggie, who plays him or her self.  Ludovic Bource’s soundtrack is splendid.

That the film is in black and white and silent (for the most part, anyway) kind of makes Valentin’s point: less is more.  It is as finely wrought as one of Lynd Ward’s woodcut novels.