What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Artist -- a black-and-white homage to Hollywood's silent movies of the 1920s -- is nearly silent itself, relying on characters' gestures and expressions, the musical score, and occasional title cards to tell its story of fame, fortune, and friendship. As such, it might not appeal to many kids, but those who really love movies may be drawn in by its references, setting, and old-fashioned celebration of cinema. There are a few tense/violent scenes, including one in which a distraught character puts a gun in his own mouth and another in which a fire gets out of control. You can also expect lots of era-accurate smoking and a fair bit of drinking, including some overindulgence. But there's virtually no language or sexual content, and in the end characters learn important lessons about the value of friendship and humility.
- Families can talk about why the filmmakers would want to make a silent movie today, when technology is so different. What's the appeal? Would the movie have been as effective if it was about silent movies but not silent itself?
- Who do you think The Artist is intended to appeal to? How can you tell?
- How does the fact that the movie is silent impact the way the actors behave on screen? What do you think would have been different if the movie had more dialogue?