Written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius
Currently #160 of the Top 250 Films of All Time on IMDb (as of this posting)
Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller and Missi Pyle
I never heard of this film until awards season came into full swing and took over everything. The movie was nomianted for ten Academy Awards and won five including Best Picture, Director and Actor. Everybody has been showering praise to this movie that doesn't deserve it that much.
Taking place during the early days of the Golden Age of movies, silent film star George Valentin (Dujardin) is riding high on his success. He is living the life or so you think. His marriage to his shrew of a wife, Doris (Miller) is crumbling down. The owner of Kinograph Studios, Al Zimmer (Goodman) wants to switch into uncharted waters. He wants to go into talkies. George thinks that people are not ready for talkies, especially him. His life goes into a tailspin when a young ingénue Peppy Miller (Bejo) is going from extra to leading lady i.e. his direct competition.
I have this unwritten rule that you should always watch silent films in the daytime, because there is a possibly of you dozing off. I 'm saying that I hate this film. I like the movie, but I think that the hype machine elevated this film into being greater than it actually is. I have seen actual silent movies that were better than this movie. The movie felt like a typical romantic comedy, but there are no words in it.
I didn't understand how when the actor are talking there were not that many dialogue cards to figure out what the hell was going on. It might the copy that I had, but the title cards were in French and the actors were talking in English. Quite baffling. I think it's because it was a silent film in 2011 that it's the greatest thing ever.
I liked the performances of Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo were nominated for their performance and Dujardin won. I understood the path the character was going, but I did not think it was worthy of an Oscar. I thought the little dog in the movie was quite delightful. I really enjoyed the score of the film which won an Oscar. It deserved it.
I think this one of those movies that is not going to remembered in ten years. It was a movie for the moment kind of film that will never be thought of again.