My guess that the success of The Artist at the Golden Globes was the impetus behind this, but the Sarasota Film Society has decided to show the film at their Lakewood Ranch Cinemas location for a full theatrical run while it remains at the art house Burns Court location. This is a terrific development — parking at Burns Court is nightmarish, and that’s besides the fact that it’s more than twice as far from home as Lakewood Ranch is. Anyway, this was the first weekend of The Artist at Lakewood Ranch, so I mentally tossed a coin and chose it over Goethe! (known in the US as Young Goethe in Love).
The Artist was a delight. I have not been able to contain my snickers at the thought that Brits have walked out of the film and demanded refunds because it is in black and white and is silent. Those people missed an wonderful film with some excellent performances (Uggie the dog is particularly entertaining. I have a soft spot for Jack Russell terriers, and this one is an integral part of the movie).
George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent film star in Hollywood, circa 1927. But talkies are on the horizon, and he refuses to adapt to the new technology. Meanwhile, a female fan (Peppy Miller, played by Bérénice Bejo) whose path crosses with his becomes a star in those very talkies, and their careers go off in opposite directions. George loses everything in the crash of 1929, but Peppy becomes a kind of “It Girl” whose films are among the most popular of the day. But Peppy can’t forget George, and she keeps an eye on him while his entire world falls apart.
Yes, it’s in black and white, and yes, it’s silent, but it’s just wonderful and I loved it.