History Film / TheArtist

1st Nov '17 7:27:27 AM Saveelich
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''The Artist'' is a 2011 French film emulating the style of cinema in the [[TheRoaringTwenties 1920s]], and the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward winner for Best Picture of the year. Written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius and produced by Thomas Langmann, it stars Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, a silent movie star in 1920s Hollywood whose career goes into decline with the Great Depression and the advent of talking pictures. He falls in love with a young ingenue named Peppy Miller, played by Berenice Bejo, whose Hollywood career arc is the exact opposite of Valentin's.

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''The Artist'' is a 2011 French film emulating the style of cinema in the [[TheRoaringTwenties 1920s]], and the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward winner for Best Picture of the year. Written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius and produced by Thomas Langmann, it stars Jean Dujardin Creator/JeanDujardin as George Valentin, a silent movie star in 1920s Hollywood whose career goes into decline with the Great Depression and the advent of talking pictures. He falls in love with a young ingenue named Peppy Miller, played by Berenice Bejo, whose Hollywood career arc is the exact opposite of Valentin's.
25th Jun '17 5:04:59 PM StFan
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!!This film provides examples of:

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!!This film !!''The Artist'' provides examples of:



* AndStarring
** "And Uggie -- The Dog" in the closing credits. Really. (Uggie also gets an additional {{Easter Egg}} mention in the credits to one of Peppy's films.) Uggie even attended the Oscars.

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* AndStarring
AndStarring:
** "And Uggie -- The Dog" in the closing credits. Really. (Uggie also gets an additional {{Easter Egg}} EasterEgg mention in the credits to one of Peppy's films.) Uggie even attended the Oscars.



* AttentionWhore: Constance, George's costar, is ''livid'' when he keeps forcing her off the stage at the first film showing.

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* AttentionWhore: AttentionWhore:
**
Constance, George's costar, is ''livid'' when he keeps forcing her off the stage at the first film showing.



* BenevolentBoss
** John Goodman's studio exec who was obviously hoping to help George make the transition to sound films until he gets stubborn about it. [[spoiler:Later, he whole-heartedly endorses the idea of giving George a comeback bid as a dancer, albeit only after Peppy blackmails him into it.]]

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* BenevolentBoss
BenevolentBoss:
** John Goodman's studio exec exec, who was obviously hoping to help George make the transition to sound films until he gets stubborn about it. [[spoiler:Later, he whole-heartedly wholeheartedly endorses the idea of giving George a comeback bid as a dancer, albeit only after Peppy blackmails him into it.]]



* ChekhovsSkill: The Black Bottom Dance that George and Peppy do behind a scene curtain. There are several hints throughout the film that George is a born [[GlamorousWartimeSinger song and dance man]].

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* ChekhovsSkill: ChekhovsSkill:
**
The Black Bottom Dance that George and Peppy do behind a scene curtain. There are several hints throughout the film that George is a born [[GlamorousWartimeSinger song and dance man]].



* DanceOfRomance: During the filming of [[FilmWithinAFilm "A German Affair"]].

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* DanceOfRomance: During the filming of [[FilmWithinAFilm "A ''[[FilmWithinAFilm A German Affair"]].Affair]]''.



* DownerEnding: Don't worry! It's in-universe! The ending to the FilmWithinAFilm ''Tears of Love'' ends with [[TheHeroDies George's character sinking into quicksand]], and telling the female co-star that he never loved her.

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* DownerEnding: DownerEnding:
**
Don't worry! It's in-universe! The ending to the FilmWithinAFilm ''Tears of Love'' ends with [[TheHeroDies George's character sinking into quicksand]], and telling the female co-star that he never loved her.



* DrivesLikeCrazy: There's a reason Peppy needs a chauffeur. (Justified in that in the 1920s and 1930s female drivers were relatively rare, and by most accounts the vehicles of the day were pigs to drive, even by experienced motorists.)

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* DrivesLikeCrazy: There's a reason Peppy needs a chauffeur. (Justified Justified in that in the 1920s and 1930s female drivers were relatively rare, and by most accounts the vehicles of the day were pigs to drive, even by experienced motorists.)



* EnvironmentalSymbolism
** George walking beneath a marquee reading, ''The Lonely Star.''

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* EnvironmentalSymbolism
EnvironmentalSymbolism:
** George walking beneath a marquee reading, ''The "''The Lonely Star.''Star''".



** George catching Peppy in his dressing room, in front of a poster for the film ''The Thief of Her Heart.''

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** George catching Peppy in his dressing room, in front of a poster for the film ''The Thief of Her Heart.''Heart''.



** During a montage of the Valentins' unhappy marriage, a pair of spouse statues appear to separate from each other with each scene of George & Doris interspersed until the only the wife statue behind Doris is visible.
* EurekaMoment / IKnowWhatWeCanDoCut: When Peppy finally figures out how to help George.

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** During a montage of the Valentins' unhappy marriage, a pair of spouse statues appear to separate from each other with each scene of George & and Doris interspersed until the only the wife statue behind Doris is visible.
* EurekaMoment / IKnowWhatWeCanDoCut: EurekaMoment: When Peppy finally figures out how to help George.



* {{Foreshadowing}}: During the first ShowWithinAShow, George's character is being tortured, being commanded "SPEAK!" He refuses to speak, just like he later refuses to speak on any film.

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* {{Foreshadowing}}: {{Foreshadowing}}:
**
During the first ShowWithinAShow, George's character is being tortured, being commanded "SPEAK!" He refuses to speak, just like he later refuses to speak on any film.



** During one point when George is seemingly at his lowest point, he passes by a poster for Peppy's new film "Guardian Angel". Peppy ends up taking on this role for George, determined to help him set up a comeback.

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** During one point when George is seemingly at his lowest point, he passes by a poster for Peppy's new film "Guardian Angel".''Guardian Angel''. Peppy ends up taking on this role for George, determined to help him set up a comeback.



* GenreThrowback: The film is deliberately stylized to look like a late 20's {{melodrama}} and, later, a [[spoiler:1930s musical in the final scene]].

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* GenreThrowback: The film is deliberately stylized to look like a late 20's '20s {{melodrama}} and, later, a [[spoiler:1930s musical in the final scene]].



* GrayRainOfDepression: After George's film ''Tears of Love'' bombs.

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* GrayRainOfDepression: GrayRainOfDepression:
**
After George's film ''Tears of Love'' bombs.



* HeroicDog: Mostly entertaining but definitely becomes heroic considering a played straight TimmyInAWell moment. Later he tries desperately to dissuade George from his suicide attempt -- it almost seems to be working at first, but [[spoiler:ultimately it's Peppy who stops him]].

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* HeroicDog: Mostly entertaining but definitely becomes heroic considering a played straight played-straight TimmyInAWell moment. Later he tries desperately to dissuade George from his suicide attempt -- it almost seems to be working at first, but [[spoiler:ultimately it's Peppy who stops him]].



* HollywoodCalifornia: Shot on location in buildings authentic to the time period. Peppy's mansion is Mary Pickford's mansion, and George wakes up in Pickford's bed.
** Ironically, of the 2012 Best Picture Oscar nominees, ''The Artist'' was the only one completely filmed in Hollywood. Even though it's a French film.

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* HollywoodCalifornia: Shot on location in buildings authentic to the time period. Peppy's mansion is Mary Pickford's mansion, and George wakes up in Pickford's bed.
**
bed. Ironically, of the 2012 Best Picture Oscar nominees, ''The Artist'' was the only one completely filmed in Hollywood. Even though it's a French film.



* JumpScare: [[spoiler:At the end of George's DreamSequence, a small feather is seen drifting lazily to the ground, with no other sounds playing... and it lands with the sound of a ten-ton weight. This is what [[CatapultNightmare wakes George up.]]]]

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* JumpScare: JumpScare:
**
[[spoiler:At the end of George's DreamSequence, a small feather is seen drifting lazily to the ground, with no other sounds playing... and it lands with the sound of a ten-ton weight. This is what [[CatapultNightmare wakes George up.]]]]



* LargeHam: George in front of an audience. His costar, Constance Grey, is seen [[BadBadActing hamming it up to a painful extent]] when she's playing Juliet in a talkie.

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* LargeHam: LargeHam:
**
George in front of an audience. audience.
**
His costar, Constance Grey, is seen [[BadBadActing hamming it up to a painful extent]] when she's playing Juliet in a talkie.



* MadeOfIncendium: {{Inverted}}. When George burns the film reels, they take quite a while to get a good blaze going. However, since film of that era really ''was'' made of incendium (aka nitrate), it should have turned into a massive fire in seconds. Nitrate films (made prior to the introduction of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulose_acetate_film Cellulose Triacetate (safety) film]] in 1948) had to be stored in thick-walled concrete bunkers because they were so flammable. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TEgrdAlofk This video]] shows some examples in its first 2 1/2 minutes, and an even more spectacular example starting at 4:25. Safety film is non-flammable. Get it hot enough and it will melt, but it won't burn, as [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilCW4xT8Xl4 this video]] shows.

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* MadeOfIncendium: {{Inverted}}. When George burns the film reels, they take quite a while to get a good blaze going. However, since film of that era really ''was'' made of incendium (aka (a.k.a. nitrate), it should have turned into a massive fire in seconds. Nitrate films (made prior to the introduction of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulose_acetate_film Cellulose Triacetate (safety) film]] in 1948) had to be stored in thick-walled concrete bunkers because they were so flammable. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TEgrdAlofk This video]] shows some examples in its first 2 1/2 minutes, and an even more spectacular example starting at 4:25. Safety film is non-flammable. Get it hot enough and it will melt, but it won't burn, as [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilCW4xT8Xl4 this video]] shows.



* MediumAwareness: George's DreamSequence -- he's visibly shocked when events around him come with sound effects.



* MediumAwareness: George's DreamSequence -- he's visibly shocked when events around him come with sound effects.



* NoAntagonist: The real problem is George's refusal to change with the times, and his downfall as a result.
** Al Zimmer is somewhat depicted as the antagonist, since his firing of George sets him on his downward spiral.

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* NoAntagonist: The real problem is George's refusal to change with the times, and his downfall as a result.
**
result. Al Zimmer is somewhat depicted as the antagonist, since his firing of George sets him on his downward spiral.



* {{Postmodernism}}: This film establishes very clear boundaries for its medium, then breaks them. [[spoiler:Specifically, the scene in this otherwise silent movie that begins with George audibly placing his glass on the dresser, and then the entire scene spiraling out of control as he learns everything makes sound BUT him. It is, of course, a nightmare, but still. The end also violates the boundaries of silent film, indicating George's acceptance of talkies.]]

to:

* {{Postmodernism}}: {{Postmodernism}}:
**
This film establishes very clear boundaries for its medium, then breaks them. [[spoiler:Specifically, the scene in this otherwise silent movie that begins with George audibly placing his glass on the dresser, and then the entire scene spiraling out of control as he learns everything makes sound BUT him. It is, of course, a nightmare, but still. The end also violates the boundaries of silent film, indicating George's acceptance of talkies.]]



** Constance gives George "[[FlippingTheBird the finger]]" early on in the film, an act that would not have been allowed in American cinema of the day. ([[Film/{{Speedy}} Except for that one time when it was!]]) As noted below, lip-readers may also detect the F-word as well; there is a longstanding Hollywood legend that many actors did swear on screen during the silent era, assuming no one could read their lips.

to:

** Constance gives George "[[FlippingTheBird the finger]]" early on in the film, an act that would not have been allowed in American cinema of the day. ([[Film/{{Speedy}} Except for that one time when it was!]]) As noted below, lip-readers may also detect the F-word as well; there is a longstanding Hollywood legend that many actors did swear on screen during the silent era, assuming no one no-one could read their lips.



* PunnyName: Peppy Miller, after 'pepper mill', a pepper grinder.

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* PunnyName: Peppy Miller, after 'pepper mill', "pepper mill", a pepper grinder.



* RuleOfSymbolism: The crooked frame in the bar where George gets smashed. Also note that whenever there's a staircase in the movie, Peppy will no doubt be going up whilst George will only go down.

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* RuleOfSymbolism: RuleOfSymbolism:
**
The crooked frame in the bar where George gets smashed. smashed.
**
Also note that whenever there's a staircase in the movie, Peppy will no doubt be going up whilst George will only go down.



* ShoutOut

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* ShoutOutShoutOut:



** The old movie that George watches on a home projector just before his breakdown is an actual silent movie, ''Film/TheMarkOfZorro'', with Jean Dujardin inserted in close-ups in place of Creator/DouglasFairbanks. In fact, George's whole on-screen persona, as present in the Films Within The Film, pretty strongly resembles Fairbanks.

to:

** The old movie that George watches on a home projector just before his breakdown is an actual silent movie, ''Film/TheMarkOfZorro'', with Jean Dujardin inserted in close-ups in place of Creator/DouglasFairbanks. In fact, George's whole on-screen persona, as present in the Films Within The the Film, pretty strongly resembles Fairbanks.



** Peppy gives a shout out to Creator/{{Greta Garbo}}'s famous line in the 1932 film ''Film/GrandHotel'' by telling her date, "I want to be alone."
** George and Doris' simmering hostility at the dinner table recalls the same between Kane and his first wife in ''Film/CitizenKane''.
*** The TrashTheSet scene may also be a ''Citizen Kane'' reference.
* ShowWithinAShow: We see a number of George's and Peppy's films.

to:

** Peppy gives a shout out shout-out to Creator/{{Greta Garbo}}'s Creator/GretaGarbo's famous line in the 1932 film ''Film/GrandHotel'' by telling her date, "I want to be alone."
** George and Doris' simmering hostility at the dinner table recalls the same between Kane and his first wife in ''Film/CitizenKane''.
***
''Film/CitizenKane''. The TrashTheSet scene may also be a ''Citizen Kane'' reference.
* ShowWithinAShow: ShowWithinAShow:
**
We see a number of George's and Peppy's films.



* SpiritualAntithesis: To ''SinginInTheRain.'' Both movies take place in '20s era Hollywood during the time when studios were making a shift to "talkies." While ''Singin'' was a light-hearted movie about a studio's attempt to adapt to these changes, ''TheArtist'' was a darker movie, showing what happened to the actors who couldn't make the jump from Silent Films to films with sound.

to:

* SpiritualAntithesis: To ''SinginInTheRain.'' ''Film/SinginInTheRain''. Both movies take place in '20s era Hollywood during the time when studios were making a shift to "talkies." "talkies". While ''Singin'' was a light-hearted movie about a studio's attempt to adapt to these changes, ''TheArtist'' was ''The Artist'' is a darker movie, showing what happened to the actors who couldn't make the jump from Silent Films to films with sound.



* TakeThat: In universe, ''Tears of Love'' is a thinly veiled rebuke to Peppy's success.

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* TakeThat: In universe, In-universe, ''Tears of Love'' is a thinly veiled rebuke to Peppy's success.



* WholePlotReference: The premise is more than a little bit similar to the first two incarnations of ''Film/AStarIsBorn''.
** ''SinginInTheRain'' is virtually a spiritual predecessor regarding the transition to talkies, though focused as a character piece on the emotional trials of the time period.

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* WholePlotReference: WholePlotReference:
**
The premise is more than a little bit similar to the first two incarnations of ''Film/AStarIsBorn''.
** ''SinginInTheRain'' ''Film/SinginInTheRain'' is virtually a spiritual predecessor regarding the transition to talkies, though focused as a character piece on the emotional trials of the time period.



11th Jun '17 7:33:17 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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* Postmodernism: This film establishes very clear boundaries for its medium, then breaks them. [[spoiler:Specifically, the scene in this otherwise silent movie that begins with George audibly placing his glass on the dresser, and then the entire scene spiraling out of control as he learns everything makes sound BUT him. It is, of course, a nightmare, but still. The end also violates the boundaries of silent film, indicating George's acceptance of talkies.]]

to:

* Postmodernism: {{Postmodernism}}: This film establishes very clear boundaries for its medium, then breaks them. [[spoiler:Specifically, the scene in this otherwise silent movie that begins with George audibly placing his glass on the dresser, and then the entire scene spiraling out of control as he learns everything makes sound BUT him. It is, of course, a nightmare, but still. The end also violates the boundaries of silent film, indicating George's acceptance of talkies.]]
11th Jun '17 7:32:39 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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* PostModern: This film establishes very clear boundaries for its medium, then breaks them. [[spoiler:Specifically, the scene in this otherwise silent movie that begins with George audibly placing his glass on the dresser, and then the entire scene spiraling out of control as he learns everything makes sound BUT him. It is, of course, a nightmare, but still. The end also violates the boundaries of silent film, indicating George's acceptance of talkies.]]

to:

* PostModern: Postmodernism: This film establishes very clear boundaries for its medium, then breaks them. [[spoiler:Specifically, the scene in this otherwise silent movie that begins with George audibly placing his glass on the dresser, and then the entire scene spiraling out of control as he learns everything makes sound BUT him. It is, of course, a nightmare, but still. The end also violates the boundaries of silent film, indicating George's acceptance of talkies.]]
8th Jun '17 12:29:29 PM xcountryguy
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* AscendedFangirl: Peppy is an InUniverse example, having caught the attention of the press by inadvertently getting on the other side of a police man blocking George's fans from him. Throughout the film it is very clear that she is a huge fan of George's movies, even going so far as to [[spoiler: attend the opening night showing of ''his'' movie rather than her own]].

to:

* AscendedFangirl: Peppy is an InUniverse example, having caught the attention of the press by inadvertently getting on the other side of a police man blocking George's fans from him. Throughout the film it is very clear that she is a huge fan of George's movies, even going so far as to [[spoiler: attend [[spoiler:attend the opening night showing of ''his'' movie rather than her own]].



* AteHisGun: [[spoiler: Just barely averted for George!]]

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* AteHisGun: [[spoiler: Just [[spoiler:Just barely averted for George!]]



* DeliberatelyMonochrome

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* DeliberatelyMonochromeDeliberatelyMonochrome: Better to invoke the style of movie the film is paying homage to.



** Though for those who interpret ''The Artist'' as a metaphor for those who reject new technologies such as e-books and downloads, the ending in which [[spoiler: George finally becomes a convert]] could be seen as a downer too. (See the Earn Your Happy Ending entry below.)

to:

** Though for those who interpret ''The Artist'' as a metaphor for those who reject new technologies such as e-books and downloads, the ending in which [[spoiler: George [[spoiler:George finally becomes a convert]] could be seen as a downer too. (See the Earn Your Happy Ending entry below.)



* GenreThrowback: The film is deliberately stylized to look like a late 20's {{melodrama}} and, later, a [[spoiler: 1930s musical in the final scene]].

to:

* GenreThrowback: The film is deliberately stylized to look like a late 20's {{melodrama}} and, later, a [[spoiler: 1930s [[spoiler:1930s musical in the final scene]].



* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: The studio executive, Al Zimmer. He's willing to give George another chance, but George finds talkies idiotic and passes it up. Later, he effectively gives George a ''third'' and ''fourth'' chance [[spoiler: first when Peppy convinces him to give George a part in a movie, and then when Peppy and George convince Al to make a musical.]]

to:

* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: The studio executive, Al Zimmer. He's willing to give George another chance, but George finds talkies idiotic and passes it up. Later, he effectively gives George a ''third'' and ''fourth'' chance [[spoiler: first [[spoiler:first when Peppy convinces him to give George a part in a movie, and then when Peppy and George convince Al to make a musical.]]



** In addition, the way George is shown [[spoiler: putting the gun in his mouth]] is another modern-day touch that would never be seen in a film of the era.
** Peppy's "dialogue" scene with Al in which [[spoiler: she says "it's either him or me" and then sputters though a few "what I meant to says" is a dialogue trope more common to modern-day cinema in part because silent films could not rely on such wordplay.]]

to:

** In addition, the way George is shown [[spoiler: putting [[spoiler:putting the gun in his mouth]] is another modern-day touch that would never be seen in a film of the era.
** Peppy's "dialogue" scene with Al in which [[spoiler: she [[spoiler:she says "it's either him or me" and then sputters though a few "what I meant to says" is a dialogue trope more common to modern-day cinema in part because silent films could not rely on such wordplay.]]



** And, of course, [[spoiler: the closing number]].
* SilenceIsGolden: Used to very great effect -- [[spoiler: three scenes total use sound, and they're all jarring]]. A couple of scenes are completely silent, with no music.

to:

** And, of course, [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:the closing number]].
* SilenceIsGolden: Used to very great effect -- [[spoiler: three [[spoiler:three scenes total use sound, and they're all jarring]]. A couple of scenes are completely silent, with no music.
1st May '17 3:48:59 PM Mdumas43073
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''The Artist'' is unique not just for being shot in black-and-white, and in the old 4:3 AspectRatio, but being an almost completely '''silent film''', possibly the first feature-length SilentMovie to receive wide distribution since Creator/MelBrooks put out ''Film/SilentMovie'' in 1976. It should also be noted that this is one of the first Best Picture Oscar winners in years to be filmed entirely in Hollywood, the first black and white film to win Best Picture since 1993's ''Film/SchindlersList'' and the first silent movie to win Best Picture since ''{{Film/Wings}}'' way back in 1927. It also won 4 other Oscars including Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius, and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin.

to:

''The Artist'' is unique not just for being shot in black-and-white, and in the old 4:3 AspectRatio, but being an almost completely '''silent film''', possibly the first feature-length SilentMovie to receive wide distribution since Creator/MelBrooks put out ''Film/SilentMovie'' in 1976. It should also be noted that this is one of the first Best Picture Oscar winners in years to be filmed entirely in Hollywood, the first black and white film to win Best Picture since 1993's ''Film/SchindlersList'' ''Film/SchindlersList'', and the first silent movie to win Best Picture since ''{{Film/Wings}}'' the very ''first'' Best Picture winner, ''{{Film/Wings}}'', way back in 1927. It also won 4 four other Oscars Oscars, including Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius, Hazanavicius and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin.Dujardin.
24th Apr '17 7:46:39 PM Xtifr
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* PinkElephants: While getting hammered in a bar George hallucinates a tiny vision of himself (and some of the African supporting players) from the FilmWithinAFilm "Tears of Love".

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* PinkElephants: While getting hammered in a bar George hallucinates a tiny vision of himself (and some of the African supporting players) from the FilmWithinAFilm "Tears ''Tears of Love".Love''.
30th Mar '17 4:02:31 AM eroock
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* BaitAndSwitchGunshot: BANG!



* FakeKillScare: BANG!
6th Jan '17 9:38:06 AM Morgenthaler
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** Peppy gives a shout out to Creator/{{Greta Garbo}}'s famous line in the 1932 film ''GrandHotel'' by telling her date, "I want to be alone."

to:

** Peppy gives a shout out to Creator/{{Greta Garbo}}'s famous line in the 1932 film ''GrandHotel'' ''Film/GrandHotel'' by telling her date, "I want to be alone."
27th Nov '16 6:40:10 AM ImperialMajestyXO
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** George letting Clifton go, realizing that he'll just continue to work in lieu of pay (which George can't afford).

to:

** George [[CruelToBeKind letting Clifton go, go]], realizing that he'll just continue to work in lieu of pay (which George can't afford).
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Film.TheArtist