There are few films I've awaited with similar anticipation: not only does The Artist go completely against the grain - it is, after all, a silent movie - it also promises to be visually stunning. Moreover, it revolves around a subject which is very dear to me: Hollywood history. Told in a nutshell, The Artist is about the advent of the talkies which subsequently led to the demise of some actors while it led to the rise of others.
Being about Hollywood history and the infancy of the studio era, The Artist also emulates the narrative of classic Hollywood films and consequently has a love story at its centre: that of an actress whose career takes off with the arrival of the talking while that of her love interest, a formerly famous actor, starts to decline. I can only guess, of course, but something tells me that Hazanavicius took his cue from the real-life love-affair of Greta Garbo's and John Gilbert whose career went downhill while Garbo's - having managed to make a smooth transition into sound - continued to rise.
With my expectations being sky-high, it remains to be seen if The Artist manages to live up to them.
Opening dates for The Artist across Europe:
Israel: January 12, 2012
Germany: January 26, 2012
Turkey: January 27, 2010
Portugal: February 2, 2012
Denmark: February 9, 2012
Sweden: February 10, 2012
Russia: February 16, 2012
Norway: February 24, 2012
The Artist was released in the UK on December 30, 2011 and - on a limited release - in the US on November 23, 2011.