The Artist Adds 1st Ever OC Film Society Best Picture Award to New York Film Critics Honor
"If our small voice can be any help" in filling future seats and award-season ballots for a film that's not on everyone's radar (yet), the society's bump will have been worth it, Schwenk explained. A Palme d'Or nominee at Cannes (where lead actor Jean Dujardin won as best actor), The Artist recently received best picture honors from the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. It's also won audience awards at various festivals, and is considered a contender for the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.
While that's heady company for the OCFS, The Artist is a worthy first choice. It's a visual love letter to Hollywood's golden age of cinema. But I must admit that about a third of the way in, it was starting to feel to me like a mash-up of Singing in the Rain, A Star is Born and The Twilight Zone's "Once Upon a Time" episode with Buster Keaton. That feeling quickly disappeared like an intertitle card as Hazanavicius' simple story and Dujardin's captivating performance washed over me.
|Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo light up the screen (but not the sound board) in The Artist.|
American audiences that know not of Dujardin will have an easier time buying him as a silent film star than someone already familiar to them like, say, George Clooney. It also helps that the Parisian seems to be having a ball hamming it up for a live audience, eluding captors ala Douglas Fairbanks and snuggling up with his co-star pooch (played by Uggie). OK, now I feel as if too much is being given away. And when I look over my notes from the Q&A with fresh eyes, I see that many of the answers will also make matters worse.
Stop here if you don't want to know any more. Otherwise, an abridged version of my notes follow on the next page . . .