The Past

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Marie-Anne has something of a fractured home life. Her husband Ahmad, from whom she has been separated for four years, has returned from Iran to France at her behest to finalise their divorce papers, however his lack of reliability in the past left her with doubts of his arrival this time, so no hotel was booked and he is stuck sharing a room with Marie-Anne’s new boyfriend’s young son, whose mother remains in a coma. Add to this Marie-Anne’s rebellious teenage daughter Lucie, from the husband before Ahmad, who refuses to be even civil towards Marie-Anne’s new partner Samir, and a closet full of skeletons just desperate to fall out, and you’ve got a pot that’s not just simmering, but threatening to boil over.
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The Artist

That’s right! I’ve been to the cinema twice in 5 days! Haven’t done that since I was single! Anyway, I managed to convince Aisha to come with me to see the Artist, the modern made silent film about the birth of the ‘talkies’, currently bothering awards ceremonies and set to win big at the Oscars next month. The film was excellent; it didn’t overplay the silent gimmick, even using it for some well timed and perfectly executed comic beats, and the performances were flawless, especially from leads Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, and the adorable dog Uggie.
The plot was a tad predictable, concerning Dujardin’s silent movie star losing his way amid the encroaching sound-laden future, whilst Bejo’s struggling extra finds spoken dialogue could lead to a promising career, but then the plots of silent movies often were, especially by today’s standards, where 99% of stories are entirely made from previous pictures. The supporting cast of well known or know-the-face actors, including John Goodman, James Cromwell, Missi Pyle and Malcolm MacDowell, was a little off putting, as many had wordless roles I was waiting to crop up again, but other than that this was a near perfect film that’s my current frontrunner for best picture.

Choose film 9/10