The transition in Hollywood from silent era movies to talkies in the 1920s is a fascinating one. Actors who were at the top of the pyramid suddenly found themselves out of work when sound became the new normal.
The 2011 film, The Artist, is the story of this transition. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the biggest star in the world. He also has an ego to match. Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) is a fan whose career goal is to be a dancer. During a movie premiere, they bump into each other and she kisses him on the cheek as photographers surround them.
Gaining instant fame, Peppy gets a chance to audition and sees her dreams become reality. But as she becomes a star, talking pictures start to take over and George’s time in the spotlight starts to fade.
This movie is absolutely lovely. It is charming, entertaining and the perfect love letter to the movies.
History is a surprising thing. Something when you think that all of the details have been shared, a new twist appears.
This is Monuments Men. The movie is based on a book by Robert Edsel, about a group of art specialists who are dispatched to Europe just after the Invasion of Normandy during WWII. Their mission to find and save precious works of art that are in danger of being destroyed by the Nazis.
They are led by Frank Stokes (George Clooney). The motley band of anti heroes include James Granger (Matt Damon), Bill Murray (Richard Campbell), Walter Garfield (John Goodman), Cate Blanchett (Claire Simone), Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban), Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin), Sam Epstein (Dimitri Leonidas) and Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville).
Among World War II movies, this is something new and different. It was little long, but I enjoyed the movie. The movie had a fish out of water quality to it, being that the characters that were part of the Monuments Men were not young men in their teens and early twenties, but men old enough to be their fathers. Cate Blanchett as the only woman, whose character is critical in assisting our heroes in reaching their goals is in the beginning questionable on where her loyalties lie, but it becomes clear as the movie progresses on what she is looking to get out of this journey.
I enjoyed it, I just wish it was a little shorter.