And the winner is…

Movie poster

Well I was going to write about this film.  We saw it last week but now everyone knows about it because of its Oscar Best Actor award for Jean Dujardin

By now you all know the story of George Valentin a silentmovie great who refuses to acknowledge the advent of the talkies and is sure that it will never take off.

When he is at his height he befriends a new comer and yes you have guessed it, she becomes a hit of the talkies and an even greater star.  He falls from grace and is reduced to selling his artifacts and belongings and yes, again you have guessed it, she has somebody at the auction to buy everything.

The plot could have been written by any one of us .  The acting, minus a sound track, is no doubt what won the best actor award for Jean Dujardin but for me the actress who played Peppy – Bérénice Bejo – stole the show.

And again for me, the highlight of the movie was the tap dancing which the pair perform together at the end of the movie – click here to watch if you haven’t already seen the film.  Or even if you have, it’s worth a second or third, or fourth watch.  This is worthy of comparison with Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell – click here to see their dance routine.

No doubt the move away from the norm was much of the appeal of the movie to the powers that be, but frankly if left me thinking that I had seen so many much better movies during the year.

Film poster

poster via Wikipedia

Last week we also saw The Descendants.  Of course any movie starring George Clooney has my vote.  In this he really shows his acting skill, demonstrating that he is so very much more than just a pretty face.

Once again, you no doubt know the story.

Matt King is a Honolulu-based lawyer and the sole trustee of a family trust that controls 25,000 acres of pristine land on the island of Kaua’i. The  rule against perpetuities means the trust will expire in seven years so the family decides to sell the land for development.   Just before the family formally endorses the deal Matt’s wife Elizabeth is involved in a boating accident and rendered comatose.

There are two daughters, 10-year-old Scottie and 17-year-old Alex.  Matt is not very close to his daughters but with his wife in a coma he is forced to confront Scottie’s inappropriate behavior with other children and Alex’s destructive behaviors.

Of course, as in all good stories the family pulls together when it is clear that the decision has to be made to pull the plug on Elizabeth.  Meantime, Matt discovers through his elder daughter that Elizabeth has been having an affair with the developer ti whom the trust proposes to sell the land on Kaua’i.

In a scene which for me, shows Clooney’s talents well, he confronts the developer and invites him to his wife’s bedside so that he can say his goodbye.  Of course, the developer does not attend, but instead his wife does.

It is a convoluted story but to my mind, much more interesting than the ‘hackneyed’ story told in The Artist.

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22 responses to “And the winner is…

  1. Interesting. I did see The Descendants and I thought it was a very powerful film. Several of my friends missed what I thought was the point of the film, one man’s redemption, and instead found it to be depressing. I found it to be the exact opposite. I haven’t seen The Artist and I don’t know many people who have. I will definitely see it, either in the theater or on Netflix.

  2. I haven’t seen either picture yet Judith but now. plan to. Thank you for your insightful view!

  3. Haven’t seen either one yet…but always love to watch George Clooney!

  4. Christine in Los Angeles

    I can just imagine that the tapdancing would interest you – remember Saturday mornings with Sylvia, at Springfield House. You were going to be a famous tap- or ballet-dancer (or a violinist). You’re young, and there’s yet time for you to bloom.
    God bless, Middle Sister, from me.

  5. The dance scene was the best part of that movie. And I agree…the actress stole the show.

  6. Judith – I’m so glad you shared this. I have not seen either film since our little town seems to get the top movies last, or not at all. Love the tap dance routine. We don’t see that much anymore and I always wonder why. Great post! Dor

  7. Loved both clips. The four of them made it look so easy, didn’t they? I liked The Artist very much, but I haven’t seen the Descendants yet. I’ve been putting it off because my son saw it, and he said the hospital scenes with the wife hooked up to tubes and having to decide when to pull the plug reminded him too much of when two years ago we had to go through that with my sister. It was hard for him, so I’m not sure I can handle it either. But I would like to see it.

    • I too loved the dance routines. They all made it look so easy.
      If you do decide to go and see The Descendants I hope that the hospital scenes don’t bring back too many unhappy memories. 🙂

  8. I have yet to see either film, though I am really excited to see The Artist. As you mentioned, the movie was out of the norm, which intrigues me.
    I have a love/not like relationship with George. Perhaps, this serious side of him is something I’ll take to nicely. I will check it out, Judith. Thanks for the information.

    • As I said, anything with George Clooney in it has my vote. And I loved to see this other side of him; dealing with real life problems that beset so many of us today. Hope you enjoy the movies. 🙂

  9. I’ve not seen either one, Judith. Always appreciate your take on them.

  10. invadingnola

    I have not seen either movie (although they are noted as I love good movies) however I have seen some clips with Bérénice Bejo , and so was rooting for her to win. What a firecracker she is!!

  11. I enjoyed The Artist… but I wanted another movie to win. 😉

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