I had been extremely irritated that this film had made it to the top of so many critics’ ‘Film of the Year’ lists for 2011, when it wasn’t even relased in the UK until 31st December.
I was even more irritated when I found out that it wasn’t actually going to get out of London and make its way up to Manchester until the week after!
In other words, The Artist had a lot to live up to.
And I am happy to report that it was definitely worth the wait.
Plot-wise, it’s a simple story which doesn’t tax the brain. But it is a visual treat throughout – the height of Hollywood glamour, just at the point where talking movies were becoming established. There is an inevitable nod to Singing In The Rain, and the lead actor bears more than a passing resemblance to Gene Kelly. And of course there’s the dog!
Most of all though, this is an extraordinary piece of film-making. A black and white, silent movie in 2012? It probably shouldn’t work. But it absolutely does.
The first film I saw in 2010 was Avatar, in 3D. The Artist was the first film I saw in 2012. And there is no contest for the one which warrants repeat viewing.