Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Artist...

So I've been dragging my feet a bit in commenting on the Artist.

While I have a long history of lengthy rants on movies (which date back to circa 1983, before I understood that just because you loved a movie - Grease - didn't mean that the next movie its stars made together - Two of a Kind - would equal the adoration of the first). I still offer an apology to whatever friend had to endure my wrath at that initial shedding of my movie-going naivete.

Which is not to say that I've cooled or altered my opinions. It's just that I've come to discover that putting attention towards the things I don't like takes away energy from moving on to those I do. It is a slippery slope to being one of those angry bloggers who can't let anything go and then transmit that angst from their parents' basements.

Needless to say, I did not enjoy the Artist... And I'm honestly surprised by all the attention it's getting. There are certainly instances where timing can play a role in my reaction to a film - is I am in a particular mood, or am expecting something entirely different and can't quite see the work for what it is. But I don't think that's the case here.

What didn't I like? Perhaps this is best exemplified by the notes I took during the movie (see, the fact that I am inclined to jot notes, which easily puts me on that slippery slope...)

Black and white is difficult to shoot. It requires a lot of light to make it look good. This looks like someone shot it on a camcorder using the "black and white" mode.
Main character acts with his eyebrows
Another vague "Hollywood cautionary tale"
The older man do-over fantasy
Real missed opportunity to do something interesting
Cliched montages
Watch the main character drink and brood. Smoke and brood. Sit and brood and brood...
The music is making me crazy.

Sample "dialogue" (on placards, the film is silent)
"You and I belong to a new era now."
"The public is never wrong."
"We have to talk. Why do you refuse to talk." (From the wife of the aging silent star. Get it?)
"Out with the old, in with the new."

I will have to say that both my parents, as well as our family friend who joined us, really enjoyed it. As have, clearly, a good amount of the public (as well as the voting academy). I'm not sure if there is something major I am missing or if it's just not a particularly strong year for film...

We'll see Sunday...

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