The Artist, the multiple BAFTA award winner, which has got everyone talking and critics swooning. I love the idea that a low-tech approach to movie-making that focuses on story-telling can set a new standard for film, and it was sweet but not, I am sorry to say, great.
We then saw Tin Tin, which was great, Andy Serkis's finest performance to date in my view, The Woman in Black, which was scary, she's behind you, and again, she's behind you and yes, you guessed it, she's ..... Ghost Rider, quite simply dreadful, and The Muppets, worth it just for the "Are you a man or a muppet?" number.
Back to The Artist, the kids liked it more than I did, especially the little dog, Uggie, who steals the film, but we irritated everyone with our loud popcorn-eating and coke-slurping that seemed weirdly loud because it was so quiet. Sharing my thoughts on Twitter, I had a lovely tweet from fellow disappointee @TheSocBiz who said he was reduced to the silent sucking of Maltesers.
Appropriately, the soundtrack is modest with 1930s-style piano-playing for the most part, but between that and bouts of silence, you really notice every tiny noise in the auditorium. And time passing slowly. It's ironic, but back when movies were silent, audiences responded much more vocally to the screen; today auditoria reactions are rare, which meant that with no one laughing at the funny bits or gasping at the drama, it was very, very quiet. The acting was lovely and the contemporary approach to conveying emotion came across as fresh as it was played out in such a formal setting. But I am sorry to say, life is in colour and sound adds information all of which, in turn, increases entertainment.
My other problem was the derivative script. From the first frame you thought you knew what was going to happen and, with the predictability of a Murder She Wrote plot, you were right. Girl met boy, love blossomed but as girl became famous, boy fell from favour, took to the bottle and voilà we had Evergreen, but without the soundtrack. If you go, you will enjoy it, but don't expect to see the film of the year.