During a time where cinema is focused on being bigger and louder than ever before, it’s refreshing to come across a film where telling a great story remains at the heart. Directed by Michel Hazanavicius The Artist follows the journey of George Valentin, a silent movie star whose career goes to ruins following the advent of ‘talkies’.
As film about the changing nature of storytelling, Hazanavicius stripped the film back to basics, preferring to film The Artist in black and white to 3D; using music to tell the tale in place of dialogue and sound effects. These brave moves paid off with the film striking a powerful chord with audiences, the lack of visual and audible distractions enabling them to become swept away in the story.
Like The King’s Speech in 2011, this film uses the fundamentals of story, characters and performance to captivate the audience and engage them in the tale being told. Despite the lack of audible dialogue The Artist takes the audience on an emotional journey, using a well composed musical score and terrific acting to enchant and enthrall.
It appears this return to storytelling is both a hit with both cinema- goers and industry insiders alike, with The Artist scooping up nominations and taking away awards at some of the world’s most prestigious awards shows. Now up for ten Oscars – the second highest of any film this year – The Artist is lining up to become a critical success. The wait is now on to see if great storytelling will prevail at the most prestigious award ceremony of the year held on February 26.