Silence is golden as in oscar winner. You betcha!
If you haven’t seen The Artist you must! One of the best films ever! Silent Movies gave birth to this nation. It was and still is a miraculous invention. The seemingly nondescript events in The Artist parallels just about everything you have seen and experienced in movies; boy discovers girl, girl chases fame, fame creates loneliness which leads girl back to boy in just the nick of time.
So as luck would provide I sat in the golden splendor of one of the most beautiful cities in all the world. And in awe of the silence in a darkened theater in the midst of The International Santa Barbara Film Festival, I observed the audience going crazy with laughter just for Uggy. Not because he’s just a dog but because he’s the only character in the film who knows how to do a pratfall and that trick is no small feat by any means. A good pratfall is what turned the silent screen into an audience’s roar.
But what makes this film extraordinary is the pure chemistry between its stars, not the umpteen takes it took to achieve it. Pure magic from beginning to end of credits.
The pair meet again when she appears in a small role at his studio where they dance before the camera, fall for each other and part without declaring their love. Then sound comes to Hollywood and the industry is transformed, a crisis marked by a surreally comic sequence in which George hears objects around him making noises. Passing girls chatter, a feather falls with a mighty explosion, but he himself is silent, unspeaking and, as he perceives himself, unspeakable. Like Chaplin he decides to buck the trend and continue making silent films, writing, directing and financing his own work. Hazanavicius provides two striking metaphors. First, George meets Peppy on the staircase of what is, I believe, the Bradbury Building, that classic late-Victorian block in downtown Los Angeles with a magnificent atrium, from where the camera frames three floors, catching her going up as he’s going down.” Architect James Chuda remarks, “the Bradbury is an architectural wonder designed by a genius who was just a draftsman. It was conceived as a high rise office building with an enclosed atrium, the first of it’s kind built in America and it truly remains as a landmark LuxEcoLiving heritage site.”
The most joyful surprise of all is experiencing Uggy, who plays George’s Jack Russell. The Artist sees Uggy playing the hero’s constant companion throughout the film’s emotional roller-coaster ride, providing a performance that is at once clever and versatile. Other than the little dog in the movie Frida, based on the life of artist Frida Kahlo whose tumultuous marriage to Diego Rivera the legendary artist who becomes obsessed having discovered that his dog has left his “mark” on one of his most notable works and later admits that he (his dog) was the best critic of all.
In this case its a universal fact. The audience goes crazy for Uggy, when he saves George’s life. He is the true hero of this film.
The Artist will win Best Picture for all the right reasons but also because it shines a tremendous light on man’s best friend. Go for the gold fido!