Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Artist - Everything we go to the movies for!

I finally got to see The Artist last night and today I still have a warm fuzzy feeling every time I think about it.  I LOVED this movie!  As pure shines homage to all the old Hollywood movies our parents loved and some we sharpened our own teeth on.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I grew up in love with movies.  Movies were a portal to another world where we could be anything we wanted to be and where falling in love with a handsome stranger was as close as your nearest movie theater.  For those of us with wild imaginations and passionate temperaments couched behind shy exteriors,  movies were simply... our magic!

What "The Artist" does or did for me, was take me back to those simpler more innocent times where we did believe in "ever after" and that it really was possible that the dividing line between rain and sunshine was a matter of inches.

I revisited the little girl clothed in a hand-me-down full dress, tap shoes (probably from The Goodwill Store),  who danced in puddles, twirling her umbrella and belting out "I'm singing in the rain...." on her way home from school.   It also made me realize that some things never change because I still walk around with some "song" in my head and when it rains and I hold an umbrella, I still want to be Gene Kelly....or a female version of him...anyway...and break out in a dance. That little girl is still very much alive and I think she is the one who keeps me young on the outside...and last night,  watching the movie, I would have given anything to be "Peppy" Miller and dance the way she light on her feet and so absolutely adorable as she batted her eyes at the equally adorable George Valentin.

I saw the movie with two friends, the male liked it the female was so-so about it and I guess I couldn't believe that they didn't "love" it like I did.  Didn't relate to it, I guess.

The performances in the movie were so good!   Talk about communicating with your eyes, your smiles, your body....   I fell in love with Jean Dujardin's crooked smile and Berenice Bejo's expressive eyes.  John Goodman was almost a Harvey Weinstein kind of guy and he was terrific in the role as the Studio Boss, as was James Cromwell in the role as the faithful driver.  And who could forget Uggie the dog as hero and faithful companion to Dujardin's Valentin, as his prospects dim with the coming of the talkies.

Of course, if you are a movie junkie, you will recognize some of the music, particularly the Edward Herrmann score for Vertigo that plays towards the end of the movie and for which Kim Novak said she felt was a "rape" of something that was created for her.   While hearing it does take you out of the movie momentarily, you immediately jump back in because it works so well in the scenes and situation and it is so lovely and intended to be an homage to the late great Herrmann's work.

Written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist is a big winner and whether it wins the Oscar or is tops in my book.   Harvey Weinstein sure knows how to pick them!

I unreservedly give this movie a thumbs up or five stars...or whatever one gives a movie...because it enchanted me and I am still carrying that fuzzy feeling around and tuning in to Turner Classic Movies to see what other nostalgic movie I can find.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

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