Monday, February 20th, 2012

Wait, Did People Really Think 'The Artist' Was a Good Movie?

So… basically The Artist is about this chick who meets a much older guy like three times for all of 30 seconds each and then she devotes her life to stalking/saving him, despite him being a married, entitled, pitiful, self-serving alcoholic, and despite her being a smart, savvy, talented, sexy professional, and then also the only black people in the film are literally carrying spears and wearing loincloths? And really hot French guys are actually made kind of ugly when they have gross tiny mustaches?

Right, that's what I thought, just checking.

43 Comments / Post A Comment

colemama (#218,804)

But the gimmick of it being a silent movie about the fall of the silent movies makes all of that okay and ultimately an amazing movie, right?

@colemama … and they dance like movie stars at the end. So … yeah.

ejcsanfran (#489)

@colemama: I preferred the silent movie gimmick over the ultimate movie gimmick of 3D in a movie about the fall of silent movies.

Leon Tchotchke (#14,331)

Being nominated for best picture makes The Artist look way, way worse than if it were just a quirky genre/filmmaking era pastiche, like Hazanavicius's/Dujardin's OSS 117 films. It's a well-done but pretty simplistic picture with basically no depth whatsoever. It's far from the actual best film of the year.

That said: I'd rather it win the award than most of the other Oscar-grubbing schlockfests that actually have any chance of winning.

Mr. B (#10,093)

@Leon Tchotchke Heh, there's something to be said for that. When it was released in November on something like three screens, it was something small and special you had to make an effort to seek out. But now that it's everywhere and the Oscar front-runner, there must be something wrong with it because so many people like it.

deepomega (#1,720)

@Leon Tchotchke Imagine if War Horse were a silent movie.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

If there were more women like that in the world, I might still be alive.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

A Separation already got robbed!

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@boyofdestiny Of worthy attention, for sure. It's all for the best, really. I rather enjoyed standing in line of about 8 people at Lincoln Center, with the director Asghar Farhadi entertaining everyone and being so excited that we came to see his movie. The last thing I ever want to do is having to push my way through a crowd of people who never (really) go to see anything, unless they first catch "the buzz".

I haven't seen The Artist yet, because in spite of all the praise of it, I have yet to hear anything that would in fact indicate that it is a good movie. "You can feel they had fun making it" doesn't cut it for me.

BoHan (#29)

This is correct.

jasonzabel (#218,820)

But it was clever how there was no dialogue, see.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

What is art, if not a period movie with a dumb gimmick and the word "art" in the title?

I think reading the movie as fundamentally sexist or racist is at best reaching and at worst totally missing the point. That said of course it's not the best picture of the year, neither are any of the other nominees, etc.

Keith Kisser (#9,714)

The nomination of the Artist, along with My Week With Marilyn adds more proof to my theory that Hollywood is just enamored with its own mythology. Wanna win an oscar? make a movie about how glamourous/tough it is to make a movie in Hollywood/be a Hollywood star. Either that or make a movie about a mentally disabled person.

@Keith Kisser: This bodes well for my Woody Harrelson biopic.

proseho (#2,358)

@Keith Kisser Just don't go full retard!

deepomega (#1,720)

@Keith Kisser: Or an orphan. Which is why Hugo has it on lock.

Brian (#115)

The soundtrack is really good for getting some work done.

keisertroll (#1,117)

Someday most people will see films hyped up by the Weinstein Brothers they way most do about athletes on steroids. Frankly, at least the guys on steroids are kinda hot.

Mr. B (#10,093)

I'm confused, Choire: You say all these things as though they're negatives.

I like the mustache but then again I'm straight, so.

Joe Hackett@twitter (#211,780)

Multiple really extreme and pitiful suicide attempts = fun for the whole family!

davidwatts (#72)

The thing is that the film effectively and effortlessly communicates in the language of cinema directly from the screen to the human heart.

But other than that, oh man, so terrible! And I for one am shocked, shocked that French people would make a film with regressive sexual and racial politics. Goddard certainly would never . . .er, well, ah, Truffaut would surely have. . . oh, whatever. There's a cute dog!

Tulletilsynet (#333)

You are in so much trouble now.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Oh, well if they're French, then it's totally okay! It's not like they are thinking adults who are responsible for the content of their art or anything. And we certainly wouldn't want cinema critics to start acknowledging the flawed or questionable aspects of films they, personally, admire.

Also, if you don't yet have a graduate degree in frothy artblather, you should know that the pretentious gibberish in that first sentence alone is enough to warrant an honorary doctorate from a respectable state school.

Tulletilsynet (#333)


Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@davidwatts The thing is that the film effectively and effortlessly communicates in the language of cinema directly from the screen to the human heart.

So, it out-spielbergs Spielberg? Great.

23abraxas (#16,293)

@davidwatts As a Godard fan, I demand, first of all, that you spell "Godard" correctly. Secondly, you need to actually provide some instances of "regressive" racial and sexual politics supposedly in his films. I'm guessing that you either didn't understand something or are just plain full of shit.

ejcsanfran (#489)

@23abraxas: In the words of Godard himself, "Oh, it's already been broughten!"

copyranter (#440)

Cedar Rapids was a better movie…Cedar Rapids was better than most of the Best Picture nominees. As was Crazy Stupid Love…and Melancholia.

I logged on via Twitter to comment on this story, but then I read all the other comments here, and now I'm exhausted.

Now explain "Tree of Life."

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@kitten_witawip Original?

J Rocket (#219,021)

Sent this post to my dad, who loved The Artist. His response:

"What this dummy missed, of course, is that it was a movie about the silent movie era so it had the same kinds of elements that those movies had (black men with spears, etc). And in the 30 seconds this guy spent with the woman the first time they met he virtually launched her career; he doesn't see where that might make her devoted to him? If it took the guy 24 months of hard work to launch her career would he then find it more plausible that she would appreciate him? What a dummy. He thinks he's clever. But he's not."

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@J Rocket I can't help but wonder: could it be possible that The Artist is a fine movie after all, in spite of its defenders being completely incapable of putting any kind of a coherent argument in it's favor?

Mr. B (#10,093)

@Niko Bellic Haha, because this post of Choire's is the first argument, coherent of otherwise, against The Artist that I've seen. Anyway, here you go, apropos of correcting the premise of your late-night comment on The Awl.

@J Rocket Your dad needs to wash his mouth out with soap.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Mr. B The Artist was reviewed by 41 critic. Silent Light, to give an example of a truly great work of art, was reviewed by only 14 of them. Spare me the pros, please.

Mr. B (#10,093)

@Niko Bellic Well, the IMDb links to dozens more, but the point of linking it wasn't numbers; it was that at least a handful of those reviews would meet any reasonable standard of coherence. (I didn't want to play favorites with critics.) Ebert gave both movies four stars, by the way. Quit being such a sourpuss, Niko!

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Mr. B Just for the fun of it, I actually read the blurbs from those who gave it a 100, and here is the sampling from those gems of coherence:

"If nothing else, this is a cinematic high-wire act" (reminds me of the other stupidly overrated film I eventually saw on Netflix Man on Wire: what the fuck is supposed to be so great about high-wire act anyway? there better be something else)

"The Artist feels as bold and innovative a moviegoing experience as James Cameron's bells-and-whistles Avatar did a couple of years ago." (where do I even begin?)

"Michael Hazanavicius's love letter to classic cinema isn't perfect but it's close enough to make just about anyone who sees it ridiculously happy – and that includes children and grown-ups who have never come across a silent film." (it makes you happy, children like it, it's just like… a chocolate bar?)

"Yet The Artist is a masterwork that likely won't be imitated. How many movies in 2011 can you say that about? Only the best one." (ha, ha.. oh, just go fuck yourself)

"The Artist is such an engaging, delightful film that, if you like movies, you will walk out of the theater with a smile." (thanks for giving some room to us movie-haters!)

"The Artist is perhaps the most modern movie imaginable right now." (…)

"Silent black-and-white movies are not coming back" (quite influential, I see)

"Gimmicky but delicious, this is a valentine to the movies I promise you will cherish." (a valentine of gimmicks? just in time to replace my wilting FTD roses!)

"The film's charm and delight of discovery, plus its sterling international performances, could make it a breakout hit in theaters." (wait, there's stock I'm supposed to buy?)

joeclark (#651)

@Niko Bellic I quite adored Man on Wire and felt its Oscar was deserved. It also briefly displayed the best photograph of the World Trade Center.

m. hight (#219,212)

finally! someone says it! thank you!

"saw the artist.

so…the idea that a young woman could help keep you afloat, revive your career and save your life is enough to make you want to stick a gun in your mouth and shoot yourself?


skyslang (#11,283)

Ugh. Gross tiny mustaches! They ruin every face on which they are grown. Please, boys, don't do this to your face.

saythatscool (#101)

Walks in a month late, looks around.
/Turns off light.

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