The Catholic New World movie critic “left the theater dancing” after watching “The Artist.” (I hope no one saw her.) I did not (leave dancing), as I indicated already.
She concedes that “the story is too light to ever be wrenching” (to engage one’s interest, I’d say). It’s “accompanied by . . . a delightful, old-timey, bouncy, Depression- era, “silver lining,” “sunny side of the street,” orchestral sound track.” (Music was good, yes.) “Its tender moments are truly [tender].” (Treacly?)
But I disagree with her in this:
“The Artist” focuses on visual storytelling, which is precisely what film is supposed to be. Anyone who has gone to film school will appreciate the forceful message here, summed up by the last word of the film: “Action!”
If visual storytelling is the essence of film, why do so many movies use talk? She explains:
Filmmaking true to its pedigree tells the story visually. Lazy filmmaking tells the story through words and plenty of voice-over. “The Artist” must tell the story visually, you see, because it’s a silent film.
Yes, I see. I still find it mannered, precious, even exhibitionist. It’s an adorable film for people who went to film school and other buffs, but its silence, like charity and sin, covers a multitude of faults.