OK for kids 13+
Loving tribute to silent films has a few tense moments.
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?
The good stuff
Messages: The movie celebrates friendship/loyalty, old Hollywood, and the magic of the movies, though it also suggests that "progress" is inevitable -- and that some people, especially those who are no longer young or fresh, may be cast aside in the process. Characters eventually learn difficult lessons about being overly proud and turning away help and affection when they're offered.
Role models: George starts out full of confidence and cheer (albeit with a tendency to hog the limelight); as his fortunes change, so does his outlook. Frustration and self-pity eventually overwhelm him, but he fights his way out of their shadow and learns that it's not beneath him to accept help and friendship from others. Peppy overall lives up to her name -- she's determined and goal-oriented, but she's also cheerful, loyal, and energetic.
What to watch for
Violence: In one tense/upsetting scene, it appears as though a character is going to commit suicide with a gun (he puts it into his mouth). Also, the movie opens on a mild torture scene (a character is shocked via electricity) that turns out to be part of a film within the film -- as are a few quick fight/chase scenes that follow. Another film-within-a-film sequence shows someone falling victim to quicksand. Also, a car crashes, and a reckless fire gets out of control and causes damage to property and one character.
Sex: Some flirting, longing glances, close dancing, and chaste embraces.
Language: One use of "damn" (on title card); one rude gesture (a character flips someone off).
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Very frequent smoking (accurate for the era); mostly cigarettes, but also some cigars. Adult characters also drink (mostly cocktails/hard liquor), sometimes to excess; while drunk, one character has visions and makes a rash, dangerous decision.
Fan Reviews provided by
The Artist by cina-ma
Kudos to the writer/director for one of the most creative, lovely, movies in years!!!
The engaging story and actors, even "in silence" made the time fly by.
The movie is funny and charming, cleverly winking at all the conventions of silent movies in the past.
Lauded as "an ode to Hollywood" ( which it is) I also found it to be a touching story for our time, our "Great Depression." The story of the middle aged silent film actor trying to adjust to talkies, could be the tale of factory workers and magazine staffers, trying to adjust to the new economy today and being passed over by the new industries and the young people who run them. If you are ten or older, go see it!!!!!!
Surprisingly excellent by scottschneider07
I only heard about this movie because I worked as a video tech at an event where the trailer for the film was played. Other than that, I never saw any advertisement for it. The trailer intrigued me, and it just so happened that the movie came out in theaters at the same time that I was to go on a date with a girl. So I invited her to come see this movie. I was honestly worried about asking a girl to go see a silent film on the first date, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience. The Artist ended up being one of the most satisfying movies that either of us had ever seen.
This movie glued everyone to the screen for its entire duration. Nobody in the audience said a single word. The movie does require concentration but it's easy because it is so enthralling. The movie gets very dramatic; but just when it gets to be too much, there is comic relief in all the right places but it doesn't detract from the emotion in the story.
A Magical Step Back in Time by cbalaban
This film has the look and feel of the silent era, with a wonderful score. I was not expecting that it would be largely a silent movie, and I think the concept and execution were incredibly creative. I think it is a film that would be particularly enjoyable for vintage film enthusiasts but anyone will be able to appreciate the warmth of the story.
The Artist by christianspotlight_writer
Imagine a young French filmmaker who is able to catch the true spirit of Hollywood during the transition from the silent films to the "talkies" and then put a leading French actor--popular throughout France today--as the George Valentin American swashbuckler character...and then call the movie "The Artist." Dujardin is a pleasure to watch on screen. You will be mesmerized by his performance. Add to it the antics of a lovable Jack Terrier dog, and well,
there you have it, a delightful film with a grand musical score and all without talking! Okay, it does have a few slides in it like the old silent films did to speak the dialogue in words on a scene here or there....but overall, it's volume muted. This should not be missed on the big screen. Definitely not for kids though, due to some disturbing violent elements having to due with depression, drinking, and an attempted suicide, in addition to a character trying to set their personal belongings on fire. Overall a positive film...
The Artist Review by Selah4Jah
This is one of the most original and brilliant films I have seen in a very long time. I was worried at first that I wouldn't be able to sit and focus for an hour and forty minutes because it's a silent film but it kept my attention the entire time. Great casting, directing, writing, and acting. There isn't one thing I would change about this film if I could, PERFECT. Go see it, you will love it!
edjhen by edjhen
Beautifully acted and directed. Could have moved faster, but it was a pleasure to enjoy the technique and that it was so poignant despite the fact that there was no dialogue.
Wonderful film by bsdesantis
After my parents raved about this film, I wasn't sure that I (or my twenty year old children) would enjoy The Artist. But I was wrong- the film is a delight and engages a variety of viewers. While my children are not old movie fans, they still enoyed the show. At times, you don't even miss the sound. It was classic Hollywood on many levels- and the dog steals the show!
There are no words to describe this by HoodCritic1
Other than "timeless," "powerful," "graceful" and that is only the words that are coming off the top of my head. Michel Hazanavicius made a movie about how powerful and underrated the silent film and the silent film era was and his final product was absolutely exquisite. I expected top quality film making from this movie because all of the critics say that this movie will carry the most gravity to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards and I wasn't disappointed at all. Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were splendid and Hazanavicius' love letter to this completely classic era was extraordinary and I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen. First class all the way.
Amazing by irmamoises
the acting was awesome to say the least, the score was right at target, the story was excellent its a must see film to all that loves art and history, Can be the revelutionary of the silence era. lets bring back all those oldies and put then back on the screen with new score ad new actors i loved it
The Artist? by olbrneyes
My wife and I went to see this last night.
My wife spent the first forty years of her life in Hollywood, and rubbed shoulders with hundreds of Hollywood stars. She knew Charlie Chaplain, Gabe Dell and many of the silent stars.
She enjoyed the movie a great deal.
I, on the other hand, feel like instead of calling this film "The Artist" they should have named it "The Cliche!!"
The film gave me no real reason to feel anything about the characters, other than sympathy. And sympathy is not a good reason to go see a movie!