Monthly archives "March 2012"

The Artist ****

Running time: 100 mins Certificate: PG

Synopsis: In the late 1920s. George Valentin (Dujardin) a silent-movie legend falls for a upcoming starlet named Peppy Miller (Bejo) after a chance encounter at a premiere. At first he finds Peppy’s fame-by-association funny, but the arrival of sound turns her into a serious rival in his career.

After all the praise and hype that this so called silent film has received it is sad to say that it is abit of an overall disappointment. So much so that it feels like The King’s Speech all over again, but with a bit more class and style.

The problem is that the story has been done before by a much better movie in the classic Singin’ in the Rain. The premise revolves around the death of silent cinema in the wake of the popularity of talkies with a love story attached. That is it nothing much else happens. It feels more like a parody film made from the 50’s rather than pre 1927 movie. A feel-good happy experience is what writer/director Michel Hazanavicius has intended to make, but somehow it feels hollow and lifeless.

Not to say that the film is well acted from everyone involved, but Uggie the dog outacts everybody and is the most memorable performance here. Hazanavicius has crafted a beautiful looking film that pays a faithful homage a bygone era. Scenes involving Valentin slowly loses his mind as he realizes he’s still silent is potent and also another where he shakes his fists as even his shadow gives up on him, is extremely well conceived done. Elaborate sets, dazzling costumes and stunning choreography bring the whole piece together to make a fantastic spectacular.

It feels odd that The Artist has been dubbed a modern day silent movie, it is not a true movie of this genre as characters talk. The score is repetitive and annoying, it would have been better to have music from that era like The Entertainer.

Compared to the classic silent films of the golden age of cinema that it is supposed to be a tribute to, The Artist is just not in the same theatre never mind ballpark. Audiences should save their time and money by revisiting the classics rather than something that is fairly flawed movie experience.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

Disney/Pixar’s Brave set to close the 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival

Disney/Pixar’s Scotland-set animated film, Brave, is to have its European premiere on the closing night of the Edinburgh International Film Festival  on 30 June.

The film features mostly a Scottish cast, including Billy Connolly, Kelly MacDonald, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane and Craig Ferguson. Previously known as The Bear and the Bow, the movie follows Merida, an impetuous princess who defies an age-old custom and inadvertently unleashes chaos, forcing her to discover the meaning of true bravery before it is too late.

First Minister Alex Salmond announced news of the premiere during his speech at VisitScotland’s Winning Years Conference in Perth today.

He said: “This will present us with an immense opportunity when Scotland will be centre stage in the film with all the tourism and business opportunities this will bring.

“I fully expect that as the film launches across the world, so will awareness of Scotland increase.”

He added: “Brave will be the most high-profile film ever set in, and themed around, Scotland, featuring Scottish stars.

“We are looking at a film which comes from the award-winning team behind such box-office smashes as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Up, and will create global buzz when it is released.”

The film premiere announcement comes days after VisitScotland revealed it has joined forces with Disney Pixar in a campaign designed to promote Scottish tourism across the world and boost the Scottish economy.

Chris Fujiwara, artistic director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, said: “We’re delighted to host the premiere of Brave and continue the festival’s long relationship with Disney.

“Though we are an international film festival, we’re mindful that we have a special responsibility to Scotland’s cinematic image.

“It makes perfect sense that this film, which is so strongly tied to the cultural mythology of Scotland and the beauty of the Scottish landscape, and in which Scottish talent has such a significant involvement, should be part of our festival.”

Brave is to be released across the UK on 17 August.