The Artist is the best picture I never saw


I kept not going to see The Artist. When I had the chance to go to a movie I chose something else. Every time. When I was a little kid I remember everyone telling me how great The Wizard of Oz was. After I saw it I was afraid to admit how much I disliked it. I was supposed to like it. I sort of feel that way about The Artist.

I get why I’m supposed to like The Artist.  It represents the roots of Hollywood itself. For a Hollywood-type to dis The Artist would be like a Christian dissing The Gutenberg Bible.

But a silent, black and white picture doesn’t really appeal to me. On top of that it looks like there’s a lot of dancing in it. I like plot and action. I love dialog. I don’t even mind if it’s subtitled. I tend to like movies that involve people talking to one another, so I’m not a big fan of survival movies with a cast of one.

While the Oscars were recording (because an hour and half is long enough) once again I didn’t see The Artist, I saw Hugo. It was awesome. I’ll blog on it in a few days. It made me incredibly happy.

This year was full of great stories with memorable characters. And dialog. I’ve already blogged about Midnight in Paris, The Help, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Moneyball, and Tree of Life. 

I still haven’t seen The Descendants but it’s next on my list. I loved one of the comments about it in the Oscars show. Someone said that it was honest and not over-dramatized or underplayed. That sounds appealing to me.

I haven’t seen War Horse. It didn’t appeal to me very much either. Even though it’s Steven Speilberg. And war.  I hear the horse lives but I have a problem with heart rending animal stories. They make me feel emotionally manipulated, in a cheap way. Most animal-in-peril movies make me feel like I’m trapped in a two-hour Arms of an Angel pound commercial. So somewhere down the road I might watch War Horse on Netflix and through my tears wonder why I didn’t want to see it.

It’s been a good movie year when nine films are nominated and I like at least five of them. I’ve had a great time at the movies this year. I’m fine with The Artist winning. The Oscars is Hollywood celebrating Hollywood after all.

I try to keep an open mind about movies I haven’t seen. What I see the day it opens says a lot about my taste. For me, The Help and Moneyball were my opening weekend movies. I might have liked some of the others more but the appeal came when people I trusted told me I’d love them. What I’m not in a hurry to see is a reflection of taste too.  So what were your opening day movies?

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