Blu-ray Review: Mediocre Release for Academy Award-Winning ‘The Artist’

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CHICAGO – Wouldn’t you think that the release of the last Best Picture winner from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would be an event? I know we’ve reached a point where public opinion and the Oscars are arguably further apart than ever before but wouldn’t think that Sony would treat their most-respected film critically with “Special Edition” degrees of Blu-ray features. The release of “The Artist” last week is a decent one but not what one would expect given the pedigree of the film.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

While I don’t think it should have won Best Picture, I stand by the belief that “The Artist” wasn’t a bad choice (certainly better than last year’s “The King’s Speech” or many other recent befuddling decisions made by the Academy). While the silent film aspect of the film is still clearly scaring off many people, I believe that nearly anyone who saw “The Artist” would like it and most would love it. Don’t focus on the fact that it’s a silent film. It goes beyond that.

The clear love for “The Artist” makes its lackluster Blu-ray release all the more surprising. All of the special features accept for a post-screening Q&A combine for less than an hour and they are nothing more than talking-head bits recorded before the rapturous stateside release for the film (someone comments on Dujardin’s Cannes win but there’s no mention of the Oscar he won). It’s EPK material, the kind of press kit stuff that doesn’t really say much about the film. The Q&A is easily the best but it has a distant quality when newly-recorded interviews or a retrospective or a commentary would have been nice. Perhaps Sony is holding back for a Special Edition. If not, this is a true disappointment to not take the chance to give one of the better films of the last few years the Blu-ray release that it deserves.

The Artist was released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 26, 2012
The Artist was released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 26, 2012
Photo credit: Sony

Synopsis:
Hollywood, 1927. George Valentin (Academy Award Winner Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky’s the limit - major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies.

Special Features:
o Q&A with the Filmmakers and Cast
o The Artist: The Making Of A Hollywood Love Story
o Hollywood As A Character: The Locations of The Artist
o Blooper Reel
o The Artisans Behind The Artist Featurettes

“The Artist” stars Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, Malcolm McDowell, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, and Missi Pyle. It was written and directed by Michel Hazanvicius. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 26. 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

ben martin's picture

the artist

I saw The Artist at the cinema and it was one of the best films I have ever seen, which is odd since I didn’t think i would like it at all.

Kevin's picture

The Artist Blu-Ray

I don’t know what the big deal about “special features” is. I havee rarely(if ever) wasted my time watching anything except the film itself.

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