Everyone tosses the word "classic" around in talking of a favorite film. For example, one man's favorite UNFORGIVEN become his definition of a classic, while others can't see the film for dust. So what makes a classic? Did people watching the first screenings of CITIZEN KANE or CASABLANCA or ALL ABOUT EVE, now acknowledged classics, know they were in the presence of greatness. I am asking this as I just watched THE ARTIST again (twice in as many days) and think this is going to be considered a classic down the line...and not just because I related to it.
Everything in this film works, from the brilliant acting of the stars to the magnificent musical score (1:45 of pure music) to the seamless direction and editing to the brilliant screenplay. The more you see the film you can see how clever the writers were in designing it. This is a film for everyone who loves film as the references to other films and the homage paid to them is brilliant. An old limo pulling into the lot where the silent film star is no longer wanted: SUNSET BOULEVARD! The down at his heels hero seeing his shadow on a movie screen; Kathy Seldon to Don Lockwood in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN: "You're not an actor? You're just a shadow. A shadow on a screen." A little terrier running down the street to save his owner; many OUR GANG comedies as well as other silents. And on and on and on. From camera angles to the use of sound, everything clicks into place making this an instant classic. I truly hope it wins the Oscar for best picture this year, but if it doesn't it will just be one more classic to join CITIZEN KANE, any Hitchcock film, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and many other deserving films that did not take home the gold. I'd love to be here in fifty years to see if I was right, but alas, that's not going to happen. So in 2062, try to remember this old blogger and see if he was right on the money!