I knew I was in trouble when I walked into the theater and the usher took my ticket and said, “Enjoy your silent movie.”  It sounded more like a warning.  The Artist teases you in the trailer by showing John Goodman’s one line in the flick.

The basic story is one that any film geek knows.  When silent movies switched to ones with sound, movie studios almost immediately embraced this technology.  But certain silent movies stars resisted the change.  The Artist follows one such star.  Parallel to his star fading, the main character (George) helps a new face rise just in time for the talkies.

(Spoiler ahead)  Now about half way through the movie, there is a scene that indicates the movie may be transitioning to sound.  This is kind of what I thought would happen.  As cinema progresses through the years, so does the movie, I figured.  But no, the filmmakers decide to make the same mistake the character did.  They insist on embracing the old ways and the movie stays silent virtually throughout.

On the one hand, it’s kind of interesting to see a modern day silent movie.  But on the other hand, without sound, you feel distant from the movie.  Real silent movies had a piano player in the theater, so it was more of a live event.  The Artist tries to capture that, but I found myself shifting in my seat and wondering when this thing was going to be over.

That isn’t to say there weren’t some entertaining parts.  The dog is cute and certainly the movie is well made, but it takes forever to say what we already know and attempts to speak in a languages that for a modern day movie audience is long since dead.  I can’t understand why this movie is nominated for Oscars.  The silent movie format didn’t endear me to these characters and it didn’t provide additional insight.  I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.  Maybe I’m just too much of a talkie person.

I give The Artist 4 keggers out of 10.  I would say it’s a rental.