I’m going out on a limb here — but a sturdy one — to say it’s almost impossible not to love The Artist, the French homage to silent pictures that snapped up five well-deserved Oscars on Sunday: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, as well as awards for costume design and original score. Having previously received many other honours, it’s now officially the most awarded French film in history. (See also the New York Times review by A.O. Scott.)
Written and directed by filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist is the tale of star-crossed actors in the dying days of silent film. Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, a cinema idol with an irresistible grin but a fading career and a rocky marriage. His sidekick, onscreen and off, is a clever Jack Russell terrier named Uggie. Bérénice Bejo plays the aptly named Peppy Miller, a young chorus girl and aspiring actress who kick-starts her career by giving George a casual kiss on the cheek that makes the pages of Variety.
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
A guest post I wrote recently (Dutch Boys and Fast Boats) for the amazing Blog of Green Gables: a mother–daughter reading journal by Kristen den Hartog and “N,” got me thinking about the books that made an impression on me as a child. Not long after the post appeared, I was sad to learn that John Christopher (real name Christopher Youd, and he wrote under many pen names), an author I’d loved as a girl, passed away on February 3, 2012. I’ll remember John Christopher especially for The White Mountains fantasy trilogy, which an elementary school teacher read to our class — captivating me completely — and which I later read to my sons.
Friday, February 17th, 2012