Saturday, January 21, 2012


84th Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Directing, Best Costume Design, Best Original score

English intertitles instead of spoken dialogue

Jean Dujardin: silent film star George Valentin
Missi Pyle: his costar Constance
Bérénice Bejo: aspiring actress Peppy Miller
John Goodman: Kinograph Studio boss Al Zimmer
Penelope Ann Miller: George’s wife Doris
James Cromwell: George’s chauffeur Clifton
George’s dog Uggie, a Jack Russell terrier

This modern version of a silent film is an odd combination: apart from one short sentence there is no spoken dialogue but there is sound with music and sound effects. Shot in black and white, the story is about the declining career of one film star and the rising fame of another.

With the intertitles kept to the bare minimum you have to rely upon your lip-reading skills to “catch” some of the dialogue. At times the actors use the exaggerated mugging technique typical of silent cinema but not always so it’s a bit of a hit and miss.

The acting is superb across-the-board and there are delightful dance sequences reminiscent of the musicals of the 1940’s. Overall a very entertaining movie with a bit of a novel twist to it.

for a disturbing image (must have missed it!) and a crude gesture (a quick one-finger salute).

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