Director Michel Hazanavicius’s newest film The Artist made a big splash at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Not only did it walk away with some decent praise from critics to plaster on its ads, it also earned the film’s star Jean Dujardin the Cannes award for Best Actor. That’s nothing to sneeze at. And also nothing to sneeze at is the visual ecstasy that is the new US trailer for this French film. The Artistis shot in black and white, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The story takes place in late 20s Hollywood, and it tells the tale of a romance between a big star who is entering the twilight of his career and a bright young starlet who is just coming into the prime of hers, as the movie industry in general transitions from silent films to talkies. Not only is it set in old Hollywood, it’s made like a film would have been in old Hollywood, complete with no sound and including all of the old school, broad stage acting that one would have expected from silent films of the time.
So why it would need a trailer specifically for the US is beyond me, but let’s continue.
With Woody Allen’s throwback to the Paris of the roaring 20s, Midnight in Paris, doing so well earlier in the year, and this film promising to be a critical darling here in a few months, 2011 might become known as the year for nostalgia. So if you’re still in that looking back with fondness mindset leftover from your viewing of Woody’s pic, maybe giving The Artist a try should be your next step toward rekindling the glory of the past. Really, if it weren’t for the presence of modern actors like John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell, and James Cromwell, there would be no indication that this film wasn’t made in the 20s at all. It’s next and final festival stop is in Toronto for TIFF, but after that you can watch it in regular release in France on October 12th, or in the US on November 23rd.
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