The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.
Helena Bonham Carter
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
Outside a movie premiere, enthusiastic fan Peppy Miller literally bumps into the swashbuckling hero of the silent film, George Valentin. The star reacts graciously and Peppy plants a kiss on his cheek as they are surrounded by photographers. The headlines demand: "Who's That Girl?" and Peppy is inspired to audition for a dancing bit-part at the studio. However as Peppy slowly rises through the industry, the introduction of talking-pictures turns Valentin's world upside-down. Written by
The character of George Valentin (played by Jean Dujardin) was based in part on the filmmakers referencing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' book DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS by Jeffrey Vance (Academy Imprints/UC Press, 2008). See more »
Early on when Peppy dances through her quickie audition she places her purse on the ground immediately to her right. In the next cut, with the surrounding ground space in full view, the purse is nowhere to be seen. Then, dance done, the purse reappears. See more »
Marvellous; one of the best movie experiences you'll ever have
The Artist arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival preceded by the accolades it received at Cannes, so expectations were high, but those expectations have been more than amply fulfilled. This film is an absolute marvel - charming, witty, surprising, moving, clever and beautiful. Filmmaking is about decisions, thousands and thousands of them, and everyone involved in The Artist makes every decision to perfection. The cinematography is ravishing in luminous black and white. The musical score, on which the film, being silent, is so dependant, is subtle when it needs to be subtle, dramatic when the occasion calls for it, and never overbearing or overwrought. The screenplay (yes, silent films do have screenplays) toys with the conventions of the silent era, paying homage to some of the greatest films of the first two or three decades of cinema history. The acting is flawless, extracting emotion and humour from a simple but classic storyline. The direction displays such self-assurance, and treats the audience with such respect, that it is almost like having a dialogue with the director.
The Artist is one of the most enjoyable movie experiences I have ever had. It deserves a wide audience and all sorts of awards. I can hardly wait to see it again.
And oh yes, if there is ever an Oscar for best animal performance, the dog in The Artist should receive a lifetime achievement award for this role alone.
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