In 1927 George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar in Hollywood. He has fans, a large home, a chauffeur, a spoiled wife and a dedicated dog. He rules his industry, including his producer, Al Zimmer (John Goodman). Along comes, quite by accident, a young woman who ends up auditioning for a minor extra role in one of George’s movies. Her name is Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). Although she has a crush on George, he does not play along but the ends up mentoring her in her first steps as an actress. A few years go bu and when silent movies turn to talkies, George’s career starts sliding, and Peppy’s takes off.
There is a dog in the story. I am not a dog person, but if I were, I’d want a dog just like this one. The dog was always on-screen, always with his master. If there was an Oscar for animals in a movie, this dog would get it.
I expected The Artist to have a slow start, and it did. But it built, and built, and the story, reminiscent of A Star is Born by Streisand and Kristofferson in 1976, captured me and after a while I didn’t remember I was in a silent movie. Don’t all movies tell their stories this way?
I recommend you go see The Artist. It’s a different entertainment experience altogether.