Saturday, January 21, 2012
The Artist (2011) 3/5
The King's Speech, The Hurt Locker, Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Chicago, A Beautiful Mind. Those movies all have two things in common: They all won the Academy Award for Best Picture and they all are very underwhelming movies. Don't get me wrong, I liked them all, but the BEST picture of the year should be something special not something routine and slightly above average. Film nuts will look back on the above movies and wonder how they triumphed over the likes of The Social Network, Up in the Air, Brokeback Mountain, Gangs of New York, and Moulin Rouge!.
I mention all of this because The Artist is almost assuredly going to win best picture this year. It is a love story to movies that nails the target Academy voter demographic perfectly. Also, just like the movies above it is almost painfully average. When I think of words to describe this movie I land on such gems as "good", "cute", "neat", and "enjoyable". That might not sound too bad, but the best picture of the year should be described with words like "moving", "mind-blowing", "amazing", and "astounding". My main gripe with The Artist is that, although a different story, it feels like a ripoff of the much superior "Singing in the Rain". Maybe if they had spent more time singing and dancing and less time "mugging" into the camera the film would have truly captured some of the magic it so desperately is trying to channel.