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Arty Chick’s Seven Flicks: Week 7

This week’s picks won boatloads of Oscars and had nominations galore. They hail from France, and Italy, and Germany, and Spain, and one has no dialogue.

When I put together the list I was just choosing a favorite film a day with no overall agenda, but this week’s turn out to be heavy on male characters, from a movie star to a boxer, a mime to a brute, an angel to a hard boiled detective. And five of them are in black and white.

The films are:

The Artist; Raging Bull; Biutiful; Les Enfants Du Paradis; Chinatown; Wings of Desire; La Strada 

 

Review: Deerskin (Le daim)

This has to be one of the oddest movies I’ve seen in a long while! It’s from Quentin Dupieux the writer/director who brought us Rubber. In case you missed that one, it was about a tire named Robert that terrorizes a desert community. This time it all starts with the purchase of a deerskin fringe jacket. And it’s an equally absurd premise that somehow sustains itself for just over an hour, thanks in large part to the central character Georges being played by the marvelous Jean Dujardin (The Artist.)

The Monuments Men

It was hard not to wonder WHY the release of The Monuments Men was delayed by several months, missing out on the awards-season bru-ha-ha. Now I (think I) know. It simply isn’t good enough. It’s not bad by any means, but it is disappointing, especially when you consider the raw materials that included an interesting story and an A-list cast led by George Clooney, who also directed the film.

The Monuments Men is based on the true story of an unlikely platoon of soldiers– museum directors, architects, artists, curators and art historians – who went to the front lines during World War II to help rescue, preserve and return some of the world’s greatest artistic masterpieces, jeopardized by Nazi thieves.

Ca$h

Two of my favorite Frenchmen are in this movie: Jean Dujardin and Jean Reno. And it just proves that The Artist was not a fluke. The camera does love Jean Dujardin’s face. He is the epitome of suave playing the title character Cash, the consumate con man (who I’d happily fall for any time.) Ca$h is essentially a French Ocean’s Eleven with Dujardin and Reno playing two of the many Parisian thieves vying to pull off an enormous diamond heist. And it is a lot of fun.

The Artist

I have my favorite movie of the year now, and I expect that The Artist will be at the top of a lot of other reviewers’ lists, too. I’ve been told I gush about it. And I do not gush often. Considering that it is in black & white and is a silent film, you might wonder why.