The Undeniable, Unshakable Charm of The Artist

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Kenneth Turan writing about the Oscars for the first time in a long, long while, talks about The Artist. Yesterday, as I sat at a press table at the Four Seasons for the press day for the film, it dawned on me that it’s been a while since a movie like this enthralled so many, people who have no business being enthralled, you know, poker faced press people and the like. It was such a powerful feeling being there, around the director and cast, that it dawned on me finally and without reservation that The Artist (probably) can’t lose Best Picture.

I know it defies logic. I know it’s a black and white silent film. I know Dave Karger called this one a long time ago and so I can’t take first person credit. And I know there are movies yet to come who could obliterate it. Although I’m not so sure anymore any movie can challenge it. I’m trying to keep an open mind but the force is becoming too big to ignore. This is a movie you fall in love with and movies like that, my friends, win Oscars.

Turan has been tracking the film from 2010 and he knows it’s on track to become the first silent film to win the Oscar in oh, 83 years?

Almost every year, the run-up to the Academy Awards features a film no one has heard of, a film like “Slumdog Millionaire” that seems to have come out of nowhere to become a possible best picture nominee. This year, that film is an especially unlikely one: a black-and-white silent French film called “The Artist” that festival audiences have simply adored.

While most years I’m as surprised as anyone at this kind of emergence, “The Artist” is a different story for me. Because of a combination of happenstance and luck, I have been tracking this unusual film from before the beginning, and I’ve been in a position to observe it win hearts and minds across a wide spectrum. What follows is a timeline of small events that has added up to some serious award season momentum.

September 2010: I hear from a young actor I know that he’s gotten a small role in what sounds like an atypical film. A French director, Michel Hazanavicius, has come to Los Angeles with his French cinematographer and two French stars, Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo. He’s making a silent film set in 1927 about Hollywood’s transition from silent to sound pictures and wants to do it where the story took place. As a partisan of silent films, I’m especially interested. The film’s name is “The Artist.”

The rest of the saga unfolds here. I will be posting my Four Seasons adventure momentarily. This Oscar season is bringing many new surprises – Mark Harris, Stu Van Airsdale and Kenneth Turan among them. It’s finally feeling like a subject people are starting to take more seriously and to dig in more deeply — as opposed to the usual bemusement that follows the Oscars around.

Beautifully Haunting New Shame Website Launches

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Hugo Enters the Best Picture Race

57 Comments

  1. Craig Z
    November 10, 2011

    Not if War Horse, Extremely Loud or The Descendants has anything to say about it.

  2. Craig Z
    November 10, 2011

    Not if War Horse, Extremely Loud or The Descendants has anything to say about it.

  3. julian the emperor
    November 10, 2011

    I think you are very probably right, Sasha. War Horse and Extremely Loud will divide critics, I’m sure and therefore lack sufficient backing as a credible winner and The Descendants are perhaps a bit too “small” to win?
    That leaves sufficient space for The Artist to win and to win big (why not suspect wins for Dujardin and Bejo while we are at it!…)

  4. julian the emperor
    November 10, 2011

    I think you are very probably right, Sasha. War Horse and Extremely Loud will divide critics, I’m sure and therefore lack sufficient backing as a credible winner and The Descendants are perhaps a bit too “small” to win?
    That leaves sufficient space for The Artist to win and to win big (why not suspect wins for Dujardin and Bejo while we are at it!…)

  5. steve50
    November 10, 2011

    From what I’m reading, sounds like the one to beat. I hope it makes it to this backwater soon.

  6. steve50
    November 10, 2011

    From what I’m reading, sounds like the one to beat. I hope it makes it to this backwater soon.

  7. Pierre de Plume
    November 10, 2011

    Sight unseen, I’ve thought for awhile that the novel exhilaration of this film would win over the Academy as opposed to the Oscarability — on paper — of The Descendants.

  8. Pierre de Plume
    November 10, 2011

    Sight unseen, I’ve thought for awhile that the novel exhilaration of this film would win over the Academy as opposed to the Oscarability — on paper — of The Descendants.

  9. November 10, 2011

    Here’s BBC’s Tom Brook interviewing Michel Hazanavicius. Eric Kohn concurs.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15667594

  10. November 10, 2011

    Here’s BBC’s Tom Brook interviewing Michel Hazanavicius. Eric Kohn concurs.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15667594

  11. November 10, 2011

    Not according to your buddy Jeff who says it just doesn’t hold up as a film on second viewing. Hmmm, time will tell I guess.

  12. November 10, 2011

    Not according to your buddy Jeff who says it just doesn’t hold up as a film on second viewing. Hmmm, time will tell I guess.

  13. James Francis McAnderson
    November 10, 2011

    There are a lot of movies that don’t hold up on a second viewing.

  14. James Francis McAnderson
    November 10, 2011

    There are a lot of movies that don’t hold up on a second viewing.

  15. Paddy M
    November 10, 2011

    I’ve been feeling this way for some time now too. Usually, the film we’re all predicting to win before the season even kicks off is something with a lot more apparent pulling power, like Atonement, Up in the Air, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Dreamgirls – all of which seem like easier fits for the mass market. But The Artist has so much going for it: not only is it winning fans over all around the world, but it has a unique position in the race. It can assume frontrunner status, yet due to it being a silent film, it may never be a true lock, which can actually work favourably for films.

  16. Paddy M
    November 10, 2011

    I’ve been feeling this way for some time now too. Usually, the film we’re all predicting to win before the season even kicks off is something with a lot more apparent pulling power, like Atonement, Up in the Air, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Dreamgirls – all of which seem like easier fits for the mass market. But The Artist has so much going for it: not only is it winning fans over all around the world, but it has a unique position in the race. It can assume frontrunner status, yet due to it being a silent film, it may never be a true lock, which can actually work favourably for films.

  17. Beth Stevens
    November 10, 2011

    So far it’s 94% at RT (100% top critics) with an absolutely stellar 8.9 average rating. Pretty impressive, though it’s early days yet.

    Love that little dog. Reminds me why I used to love The Thin Man movies, LOL.

  18. Beth Stevens
    November 10, 2011

    So far it’s 94% at RT (100% top critics) with an absolutely stellar 8.9 average rating. Pretty impressive, though it’s early days yet.

    Love that little dog. Reminds me why I used to love The Thin Man movies, LOL.

  19. November 10, 2011

    The film is absolutely marvelous. My four star review is at The Awards Circuit: http://www.awardscircuit.com/2011/11/06/film-review-the-artist/

  20. November 10, 2011

    The film is absolutely marvelous. My four star review is at The Awards Circuit: http://www.awardscircuit.com/2011/11/06/film-review-the-artist/

  21. unlikelyhood
    November 10, 2011

    I want to love this film. If it’s everything they say, I want it to win it all.

    But Sasha, what do you think of the argument that films about Hollywood have underwhelmed at Oscar time? (Despite being more lionized later.) For example:

    Sunset Boulevard (only a writing win in big categories)
    Singin’ in the Rain (no BP nom)
    Day for Night (ignored)
    California Suite (no BP nom)
    The Big Picture (ignored)
    The Player (no BP nom)
    Living in Oblivion (ignored)
    Mulholland Dr. (no BP nom)

    Etc etc…I guess in an age with up to 10 BP nods, we don’t have to worry about it crossing that threshold…do we?

  22. unlikelyhood
    November 10, 2011

    I want to love this film. If it’s everything they say, I want it to win it all.

    But Sasha, what do you think of the argument that films about Hollywood have underwhelmed at Oscar time? (Despite being more lionized later.) For example:

    Sunset Boulevard (only a writing win in big categories)
    Singin’ in the Rain (no BP nom)
    Day for Night (ignored)
    California Suite (no BP nom)
    The Big Picture (ignored)
    The Player (no BP nom)
    Living in Oblivion (ignored)
    Mulholland Dr. (no BP nom)

    Etc etc…I guess in an age with up to 10 BP nods, we don’t have to worry about it crossing that threshold…do we?

  23. Anna
    November 10, 2011

    I wish it were possible for animals to get Oscar nominations. In a perfect world, Uggie would be a lock for Best Supporting Actor.

  24. Anna
    November 10, 2011

    I wish it were possible for animals to get Oscar nominations. In a perfect world, Uggie would be a lock for Best Supporting Actor.

  25. November 10, 2011

    Nom, yes. But awarding a black & white silent french film in the age of 3D blockbusters?

    Mmmmm… are we seriously thinking that Oscar is going to be cooler than Cannes? That Hollywood – which pushed Slumdog Millionaire for an awards season sweep “just by chance” right when a multimillionaire agreement with Bollywood was taking place – is really going to push art like this? Maybe this is just a marketing stunt that is paying off?

    I still don’t see The Artist taking Picture OVER War Horse, Moneyball… could it happen? Yes. Would it be deserving? I don’t know yet. But labelling it frontrunner and saying it can’t lose is quite daring, to say the least. I would rather bet on The Help or Harry Potter or Hugo or even We Need to Talk about Kevin. But that’s me, and you know I’m crazy anyways. ;)

  26. November 10, 2011

    Nom, yes. But awarding a black & white silent french film in the age of 3D blockbusters?

    Mmmmm… are we seriously thinking that Oscar is going to be cooler than Cannes? That Hollywood – which pushed Slumdog Millionaire for an awards season sweep “just by chance” right when a multimillionaire agreement with Bollywood was taking place – is really going to push art like this? Maybe this is just a marketing stunt that is paying off?

    I still don’t see The Artist taking Picture OVER War Horse, Moneyball… could it happen? Yes. Would it be deserving? I don’t know yet. But labelling it frontrunner and saying it can’t lose is quite daring, to say the least. I would rather bet on The Help or Harry Potter or Hugo or even We Need to Talk about Kevin. But that’s me, and you know I’m crazy anyways. ;)

  27. Houstonrufus
    November 10, 2011

    Yup. I foresee The Artist being one of the top 2 or 3 contenders and certainly one of the favorites to win the big prize. I haven’t even seen it and I’ve thought for a while it has that kind of aura about it.

  28. Houstonrufus
    November 10, 2011

    Yup. I foresee The Artist being one of the top 2 or 3 contenders and certainly one of the favorites to win the big prize. I haven’t even seen it and I’ve thought for a while it has that kind of aura about it.

  29. November 10, 2011

    Sasha, I have read you for a long time, but I had to chime in on this one. I JUST SAW WAR HORSE and it is not only the best film of the year, but it is ONE OF THE BEST FILMS I’VE EVER SEEN!. This might be soft words coming from a random person. However, I am an independent filmmaker in Dallas and a local film critic (check out Thank You For Watching). I have seen over 120 films this year alone and profess to have a fair bit of knowledge on the subject. My mother was a singer, my father an executive producer, and my uncle is a broadway actor who acted recently with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in The Producers and the short lived Young Frankenstein. I mention this to let you know that I come from a family of artists and we take art seriously. WAR HORSE is a work of art. It is a perfect film. I am seeing The Artist this weekend at the Lone Star Film Festival so I’ll let you know what I think about it then, but regardless of how good it is, it is important to know that it is not a shoe in for the Oscar. The reason for that is WAR HORSE. It is a masterpiece! I will have a full spoiler free review on this weekends show. I’ll send it your way. BTW, I love this site and have been reading it for almost 2 years now. Keep up the good work.

  30. November 10, 2011

    Sasha, I have read you for a long time, but I had to chime in on this one. I JUST SAW WAR HORSE and it is not only the best film of the year, but it is ONE OF THE BEST FILMS I’VE EVER SEEN!. This might be soft words coming from a random person. However, I am an independent filmmaker in Dallas and a local film critic (check out Thank You For Watching). I have seen over 120 films this year alone and profess to have a fair bit of knowledge on the subject. My mother was a singer, my father an executive producer, and my uncle is a broadway actor who acted recently with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in The Producers and the short lived Young Frankenstein. I mention this to let you know that I come from a family of artists and we take art seriously. WAR HORSE is a work of art. It is a perfect film. I am seeing The Artist this weekend at the Lone Star Film Festival so I’ll let you know what I think about it then, but regardless of how good it is, it is important to know that it is not a shoe in for the Oscar. The reason for that is WAR HORSE. It is a masterpiece! I will have a full spoiler free review on this weekends show. I’ll send it your way. BTW, I love this site and have been reading it for almost 2 years now. Keep up the good work.

  31. Evan
    November 10, 2011

    “It dawned on me finally and without reservation that The Artist (probably) can’t lose Best Picture.”

    What a weird mix of certainty and couching.

    No offense, but it seems like every week on this blog, there’s at least one post that paints the Academy in large brushstrokes, making enormous generalizations about its taste that seem to be based mostly on The King’s Speech win last year. If it’s so black and white (no pun intended), why do we even bother with predictions?

    Because it’s not black and white. A look at the last ten years tells us that. Sure, the Academy loves feel-good but self-serious films (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, Chicago to some extent), but they can also love films that aren’t so cheery (A Beautiful Mind, Million Dollar Baby, Crash). They go for glossy and hate gritty… except that sometimes they don’t (The Departed, No Country for Old Men, The Hurt Locker). They hate genre… except that sometimes they don’t (The Lord of the Rings).

    The Artist has an excellent shot– it’s probably the frontrunner in my mind too– but this year is hardly wrapped up yet. Even if the “feel-good” factor is true, there are still multiple films that fit that bill left to debut. To assume that The Artist is winning because last year the Academy really wimped out seems not only cynical but most importantly without convincing evidence. And the pseudo-certainty of this blog’s pronouncements to that fact only makes me more skeptical of what this blog has to say in general.

    I’m not saying this in order to discredit the blog or tear its argument apart. I just mean that as an avid reader of Awards Daily, it would be less frustrating and more credible if the blog worried less about what happened last year (as indirect or subtle as that concern about 2010 may be) and focused more on what is happening this year.

  32. Evan
    November 10, 2011

    “It dawned on me finally and without reservation that The Artist (probably) can’t lose Best Picture.”

    What a weird mix of certainty and couching.

    No offense, but it seems like every week on this blog, there’s at least one post that paints the Academy in large brushstrokes, making enormous generalizations about its taste that seem to be based mostly on The King’s Speech win last year. If it’s so black and white (no pun intended), why do we even bother with predictions?

    Because it’s not black and white. A look at the last ten years tells us that. Sure, the Academy loves feel-good but self-serious films (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, Chicago to some extent), but they can also love films that aren’t so cheery (A Beautiful Mind, Million Dollar Baby, Crash). They go for glossy and hate gritty… except that sometimes they don’t (The Departed, No Country for Old Men, The Hurt Locker). They hate genre… except that sometimes they don’t (The Lord of the Rings).

    The Artist has an excellent shot– it’s probably the frontrunner in my mind too– but this year is hardly wrapped up yet. Even if the “feel-good” factor is true, there are still multiple films that fit that bill left to debut. To assume that The Artist is winning because last year the Academy really wimped out seems not only cynical but most importantly without convincing evidence. And the pseudo-certainty of this blog’s pronouncements to that fact only makes me more skeptical of what this blog has to say in general.

    I’m not saying this in order to discredit the blog or tear its argument apart. I just mean that as an avid reader of Awards Daily, it would be less frustrating and more credible if the blog worried less about what happened last year (as indirect or subtle as that concern about 2010 may be) and focused more on what is happening this year.

  33. guany
    November 11, 2011

    Sasha, even if The Artist wins Best Picture, do you think Hazanavicious will win Director? They never go for complete unknowns, especially those that are foreign (Hooper had Emmy cred, Mendes had his stage work, Brooks had Mary Tyler Moore, and as for foreigners, Forman, Bertolucci, and Polanski were well beyond established).

    Also, what other Oscars could The Artist win?

    The reason I’m not predicting it is because I can’t see it winning a lot of other awards. Best Picture and Best Original Score can’t be enough. Of course, Editing and Art Direction, etc, could happen, but I feel like those will go to Dragon Tattoo and Harry Potter, respectively. As for Screenplay, I can’t see the majority of the Academy (i.e. the actors) voting for a silent film; they love their screenplay winners to have witty dialogue or to be a Best Picture also-ran if not the actual winner.

    I think the safe bet is still Extremely Loud. Like you, I read the script, and I definitely cried. Keep in mind that I saw War Horse and hated it, so I do in fact have a heart, lmao.

  34. guany
    November 11, 2011

    Sasha, even if The Artist wins Best Picture, do you think Hazanavicious will win Director? They never go for complete unknowns, especially those that are foreign (Hooper had Emmy cred, Mendes had his stage work, Brooks had Mary Tyler Moore, and as for foreigners, Forman, Bertolucci, and Polanski were well beyond established).

    Also, what other Oscars could The Artist win?

    The reason I’m not predicting it is because I can’t see it winning a lot of other awards. Best Picture and Best Original Score can’t be enough. Of course, Editing and Art Direction, etc, could happen, but I feel like those will go to Dragon Tattoo and Harry Potter, respectively. As for Screenplay, I can’t see the majority of the Academy (i.e. the actors) voting for a silent film; they love their screenplay winners to have witty dialogue or to be a Best Picture also-ran if not the actual winner.

    I think the safe bet is still Extremely Loud. Like you, I read the script, and I definitely cried. Keep in mind that I saw War Horse and hated it, so I do in fact have a heart, lmao.

  35. Scott
    November 11, 2011

    Jeez, it’s got a cute terrier in it even? That image makes me think of The Thin Man, Bringing Up Baby, and Anatomy of a Murder. What a ploy…

  36. Scott
    November 11, 2011

    Jeez, it’s got a cute terrier in it even? That image makes me think of The Thin Man, Bringing Up Baby, and Anatomy of a Murder. What a ploy…

  37. daveylow
    November 11, 2011

    Whether The Artist wins Best Picture or not, it is the type of movie that I wanted to see again immediately after I saw it and I think many viewers will feel the same way. And if it wins, it will be hard to be upset about it because it is such a sweet, lovable film.

  38. daveylow
    November 11, 2011

    Whether The Artist wins Best Picture or not, it is the type of movie that I wanted to see again immediately after I saw it and I think many viewers will feel the same way. And if it wins, it will be hard to be upset about it because it is such a sweet, lovable film.

  39. daveylow
    November 11, 2011

    @guany–I don’t think anyone at the Academy is going to care that The Artist is silent. You really don’t think about it after the first 10 minutes or so because the story is so charming.

  40. daveylow
    November 11, 2011

    @guany–I don’t think anyone at the Academy is going to care that The Artist is silent. You really don’t think about it after the first 10 minutes or so because the story is so charming.

  41. PaulH
    November 11, 2011

    It’s a silent film. End of story. That alone should DQ it from consideration. Never mind it’s just purest Weinstein Oscar bait.

  42. PaulH
    November 11, 2011

    It’s a silent film. End of story. That alone should DQ it from consideration. Never mind it’s just purest Weinstein Oscar bait.

  43. November 11, 2011

    I’ve been saying since the trailer broke that THE ARTIST was this year’s frontrunner, and everyone has called me crazy. The problem with WAR HORSE winning BP is that it’s not going to get any acting nominations, and usually movies lacking in those categories don’t end up winning BP. ARTIST will end up being nommed for pic, actor, director, original screenplay, cinematography, art direction, editing, costume design and original score, at the very least. I wouldn’t knock makeup or maybe even supporting actress out of the lineup. Anyway, 9 noms at least. Maybe WAR HORSE will tie it in the final tally by getting two sound noms (pic, director, adapted screenplay, cinematography, art direction, editing, music and the two sound noms are the most likely scenario). I believe Spielberg will be passed up this year, and will win next year for LINCOLN. No way they’re going to give him best dir/pic two years in a row. And you KNOW that lINCOLN is already the movie to beat for next year. I see THE ARTIST winning pic, actor, director, art direction, and original score.

  44. November 11, 2011

    I’ve been saying since the trailer broke that THE ARTIST was this year’s frontrunner, and everyone has called me crazy. The problem with WAR HORSE winning BP is that it’s not going to get any acting nominations, and usually movies lacking in those categories don’t end up winning BP. ARTIST will end up being nommed for pic, actor, director, original screenplay, cinematography, art direction, editing, costume design and original score, at the very least. I wouldn’t knock makeup or maybe even supporting actress out of the lineup. Anyway, 9 noms at least. Maybe WAR HORSE will tie it in the final tally by getting two sound noms (pic, director, adapted screenplay, cinematography, art direction, editing, music and the two sound noms are the most likely scenario). I believe Spielberg will be passed up this year, and will win next year for LINCOLN. No way they’re going to give him best dir/pic two years in a row. And you KNOW that lINCOLN is already the movie to beat for next year. I see THE ARTIST winning pic, actor, director, art direction, and original score.

  45. julian the emperor
    November 11, 2011

    I think you are right, dean! And why not add supporting actress while you are it…

    And I tend to agree with your line of thinking about Spielberg as well; the members of the Academy know that next year is another Spielberg year with the even more baity Lincoln. Awarding War Horse for bp is like saying: we don’t think you can do better next year (when in fact, I think most people have even higher expectations for Lincoln).
    Extremely Loud is still a big unknown, if it’s any good it could become this years Million Dollar baby (on sentimental value alone), but if not, I don’t see anything getting in the way of The Artist (The Descendants as a clear runner-up, but it doesn’t smell bp winner to me)

  46. julian the emperor
    November 11, 2011

    I think you are right, dean! And why not add supporting actress while you are it…

    And I tend to agree with your line of thinking about Spielberg as well; the members of the Academy know that next year is another Spielberg year with the even more baity Lincoln. Awarding War Horse for bp is like saying: we don’t think you can do better next year (when in fact, I think most people have even higher expectations for Lincoln).
    Extremely Loud is still a big unknown, if it’s any good it could become this years Million Dollar baby (on sentimental value alone), but if not, I don’t see anything getting in the way of The Artist (The Descendants as a clear runner-up, but it doesn’t smell bp winner to me)

  47. HahaLives
    November 11, 2011

    The question is if the Academy is likely to award the Weinsteins twice in a row. In that regard, I see it failing to win.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, on the other hand, is by a director who’s overdue plus the novel is a big hit with the Academy demographic (trust me, living in LA for three years and working in a bookstore for two has taught me that the older upper class people love their Lisbeth). The question here lies in whether or not the whole “remake” debacle has affected them in any way.

  48. HahaLives
    November 11, 2011

    The question is if the Academy is likely to award the Weinsteins twice in a row. In that regard, I see it failing to win.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, on the other hand, is by a director who’s overdue plus the novel is a big hit with the Academy demographic (trust me, living in LA for three years and working in a bookstore for two has taught me that the older upper class people love their Lisbeth). The question here lies in whether or not the whole “remake” debacle has affected them in any way.

  49. Anna
    November 12, 2011

    @HahaLives – that’s an interesting point. No one plays the Oscar game better than the Weinsteins, and I believe that The Artist would stand out even if TWC didn’t have the rights to it (because it really is that fucking good), but it doesn’t seem unlikely that their win last year would be detrimental to them & the films they’re campaigning this year. Is there any kind of… precedent for BP-winning distributors?
    I personally don’t see the “remake” thing having a negative impact on Dragon Tattoo’s Oscar chances, since the Swedish film doesn’t have much of an American following and barely got any award recognition here (with the exception of Noomi Rapace). If it’s extremely good, it should have no problem getting BP and BD nods, and maybe even wins if the AMPAS decides to start favoring darker films again. Fincher is sure to get a directing nomination even if the film is just okay – and I think he actually has a better chance of winning than Michel Hazanavicius, since he is long overdue and Hazanavicius is more or less a complete unknown here. Maybe it’s time for another Picture/Director split…

  50. Anna
    November 12, 2011

    @HahaLives – that’s an interesting point. No one plays the Oscar game better than the Weinsteins, and I believe that The Artist would stand out even if TWC didn’t have the rights to it (because it really is that fucking good), but it doesn’t seem unlikely that their win last year would be detrimental to them & the films they’re campaigning this year. Is there any kind of… precedent for BP-winning distributors?
    I personally don’t see the “remake” thing having a negative impact on Dragon Tattoo’s Oscar chances, since the Swedish film doesn’t have much of an American following and barely got any award recognition here (with the exception of Noomi Rapace). If it’s extremely good, it should have no problem getting BP and BD nods, and maybe even wins if the AMPAS decides to start favoring darker films again. Fincher is sure to get a directing nomination even if the film is just okay – and I think he actually has a better chance of winning than Michel Hazanavicius, since he is long overdue and Hazanavicius is more or less a complete unknown here. Maybe it’s time for another Picture/Director split…

  51. Anna
    November 12, 2011

    PaulH, why exactly should silence be a disqualifying factor? Just because a silent film hasn’t won Best Picture in 83 years doesn’t mean they should be ruled out permanently. Even in this day and age, it is possible to make a movie that is without dialogue but still tells a great story with more charm, intelligence, and warmth (not to mention better acting, cinematography & editing) than 90% of the dialogue-laden Hollywood fare released in the same year. The Artist is proof of that. Have you actually seen the film? Something tells me you haven’t, because it’s pretty impossible to dismiss The Artist as “just purest Weinstein Oscar bait” once you’ve experienced it for yourself.

  52. Anna
    November 12, 2011

    PaulH, why exactly should silence be a disqualifying factor? Just because a silent film hasn’t won Best Picture in 83 years doesn’t mean they should be ruled out permanently. Even in this day and age, it is possible to make a movie that is without dialogue but still tells a great story with more charm, intelligence, and warmth (not to mention better acting, cinematography & editing) than 90% of the dialogue-laden Hollywood fare released in the same year. The Artist is proof of that. Have you actually seen the film? Something tells me you haven’t, because it’s pretty impossible to dismiss The Artist as “just purest Weinstein Oscar bait” once you’ve experienced it for yourself.

  53. November 12, 2011

    The Artist was my highest rated film (A+) from TIFF. I absolutely loved it, it has EVERYTHING that a true Best Picture Oscar winner should have. I hope it goes all the way!

  54. November 12, 2011

    The Artist was my highest rated film (A+) from TIFF. I absolutely loved it, it has EVERYTHING that a true Best Picture Oscar winner should have. I hope it goes all the way!

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