On Tuesday, The Weinstein Company kicked off what’s sure to be a hectic buyer’s market at Cannes with their purchase of late festival entry “The Artist.” The film tells the story of the last great silent movie star and his relationship with an extra who slowly becomes one to watch on the talkie circuit. It’s another collaboration between leading man Jean Dujardin and director Michel Hazanavicius, who previously worked together on the absolutely hysterical “OSS 117” films, which do everything the “Austin Powers” franchise tried and failed.
Did we mention it’s also in black and white and silent? Yes, silent. Not your usual big ticket pickup, but the Weinsteins certainly seem interested in challenging themselves, and after “The King’s Speech” made over $400 million worldwide, who are we to judge? And so a trailer has surfaced, ostensibly for the international market, and it’s genuinely sweet and moving, even if it does essentially give away the entire film. Dujardin’s fabulously wide smile is a perfect fit for the broad storytelling, while the clip has both a fluffy comedic side and a darker, more dramatically hefty section. In short, it looks like a sincere valentine to the cynical movie lover’s heart.
“The Artist” also features John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle and James Cromwell. Peep the trailer below and stay tuned for reactions from Cannes, as the film is expected to screen on Sunday.