The LAMB Devours the Oscars: Best Picture – The Artist

by Rachel · February 3, 2012 · LAMB Devours the Oscars · 4 Comments
Editor’s note: Welcome to the tenth of a 32-part series dissecting the 84th Academy Awards, brought to you by the Large Association of Movie Blogs and its assorted members. Every day leading up to the Oscars, a new post written by a different LAMB will be published, each covering a different category of the Oscars. To read any other posts regarding this event, please click the tag following the post. Thank you, and enjoy!

By Michaël of Le Mot du Cinephiliaque

Best Motion Picture nominee The Artist 
Presented for the first time at Cannes’ film festival, many observers noticed that this uncompromised silent film would have a long reach within the movie goers of this world. Shot in the aspect ratio of the time it represents 1.33:1 also known as the “Academy ratio” and in a beautiful black and white that revives the era of silent films. Michel Hazanavicius wanted to craft a film that reminded him of the classic musicals of the 1930’s. He explains that using this ratio gives the actors “a presence, a power, a strength“. 
Such a work of revival with the use of Mary Pickford’s house and bed, the use of Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly’s studio for the filming of the dancing scenes, the location shooting at the Warner Bros studios and even the controversial use of Bernard Herrmann’s love theme of Vertigo. The film cries nostalgia all over the place and sometimes we cinephiles love to be reminded of the good “ol’ tymes”. Look at the success of Singin’ In the Rain a film that definitely influenced Hazanavicius. But does the public respond to the echo of the past? The numbers of the Box Office can’t lie on what the public is willing to watch: in France it grossed more than 9.5 million Euros and in the USA , as of January 15th, it actually grossed $9.2 million. Let’s project that the nomination announcement may help the gross total of this release in North America. These numbers put in perspective that it is a black and white silent film concurring with many 3D releases and full Dolby Surround Digital with top of the art visual effects makes this achievement even more impressive. 
On the critics’ side of things, The Artist scores at 89/100 on Metascore and holds a solid 97% and the audience voted for it at 91% at Rotten Tomatoes. The regular voters at IMDb gave it a strong 8.5 which places it at the number 162 on the Top 250 of all-time on IMDb. The success story of The Artist made the film a strong contender for the Academy Awards. The best indicators for the award season are the previous ceremonies held before the Oscars: 
– 12 nominations at the BAFTA Awards (Cinematography, Costume Design, Director, Editing, Film, Leading Actor, Leading Actress, Make Up & Air, Original Music, Original Screenplay, Sound
– Won the Best lead for Jean Dujardin at Cannes Film Festival and nominated for the Palme d’Or (Best Film) 
– Winner of 3 Golden Globes for Best Musical or Comedy, Best Original Score – Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actor – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Jean Dujardin and many other serious Associations and Guilds. 
It makes The Artist a strong contender for the ten nominations it got and it will probably reach the podium and win the most desired statuette of the night.

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