The Artist is a 2011 French comedy drama film starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo directed by Michel Hazanavicius. The leading actor Jean Dujardin won Best Actor Award at 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The movie is about a silent film hero's declining through the coming of talking movies and rising actress with talking movies. The story takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932.
The movie got wide critical praise and several nominations. The film nominated for Academy Awardss, Golden Globe's, BAFTA's and César Awards.
Directed by : Michel Hazanavicius
Produced by : Thomas Langmann
Written by : Michel Hazanavicius
Starring : Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo
Music by : Ludovic Bource
Cinematography : Guillaume Schiffman
Editing by : Anne-Sophie Bion, Michel Hazanavicius
Studio : La Petite Reine, ARP Sélection
Distributed by : Warner Bros. (France), The Weinstein Company (US)
Release date : 15 May 2011 Cannes Film Festival, 12 October 2011 France
Plot Summary :
When attending the premiere of his latest film, the silent film hero George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) accidentaly met with a young woman Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). The next day, Miller finds herself on the front page of Variety with the headline "Who's That Girl?" Later, Miller auditions as a dancer and is spotted by Valentin, who insists that she have a part in Kinograph Studios' next production, despite objections from the studio boss, Al Zimmer (John Goodman). With a little guidance from Valentin, Miller slowly rises through the industry, earning more prominent starring roles.
Two years later, Zimmer announces the end of production of silent films at Kinograph Studios, but Valentin is dismissive, insisting that sound is just a fad. He decides to produce and direct his own silent film, financing it himself. The film opens on the same day as Miller's new sound film, and Valentin is ruined. His wife, Doris (Penelope Ann Miller), kicks him out, and he moves into an apartment with his valet, Clifton (James Cromwell). Miller goes on to become a major Hollywood star.
Later, having been financially ruined in the 1929 stock-market crash, Valentin is forced to auction off all of his personal effects, and fires Clifton, who is reluctant to leave Valentin despite the fact that the actor has not paid him for a year. Desperate and drunk, Valentin sets a match to the celluloid canisters of his earlier films, and is trapped in his house as the fire spreads. His dog attracts the help of a nearby policeman, and after being rescued Valentin is hospitalized for injuries suffered in the fire. Miller visits the hospital and asks for him to be moved to her house to recuperate. He awakens in a bed there, to find that Clifton is now working for Miller.
Miller insists that Valentin co-stars in her next film, threatening to quit Kinograph Studios if Zimmer does not agree to her terms. After Valentin learns that Miller had purchased all his auctioned effects, he returns to his burnt-out apartment. Miller arrives, panicked, and finds that Valentin is about to attempt suicide. The two reconcile, and remembering that he is a superb dancer, Miller persuades Zimmer to let them make a musical together.
Sound finally comes in as the film starts rolling for a dance scene with Miller and Valentin. Once the choreography is complete, Zimmer calls "Cut! Perfect. Beautiful. Could you give me one more?" Valentin, in his first audible line, replies "With pleasure", in a strong French accent.
Reception : The movie got high prise from critics and audience. 8.4 rating in IMDB and 97% positive reviews in Rotten Tomatoes.