A new silent movie about the heyday of silent movies, The Artist has crisp black-and-white photography, swelling music, and a likable cast.
At the New York Film Festival showing the other day, star Jean Dujardin explained the filming process:
“Sometimes we talked in French, sometimes in English, and sometimes in gibberish.”
Lead actress Bérénice Bejo said her voice was so high, fake, and shrieky as she acted out her parts “that I apologized to the crew. You’re lucky you didn’t hear it!”
But another cast member cracked that he didn’t really care whether the film was silent or not: “The figures on the paycheck are the same.”
At the same event, director Michel Hazanavicius revealed that John Goodman agreed to do his supporting part in the film after a mere four-minute meeting, but James Cromwell was not so easily sold.
“He’s very cerebral,” said Hazanavicius.
“He asked, ‘Why a silent movie? Why this story? Why this character? Why me? Why don’t you finish your pizza?'”
I guess the guy’s not silent at all.