A few months ago I asked if a silent, black and white film could win an Oscar for Best Picture. As the months have passed, more and more critics are screening it. The reviews have been great. The New York Times called it “dazzling cinematic object d’art”. The key word is art. I think that the cinephiles will love it for its movie making achievements. As I remind you all of the time, I am not a blogger that gets to see advance screenings, so I have to go by word of mouth for now. But the trailer really showcases some incredable movie making. It appears that THE ARTIST will play great in art house cinemas across the country. But will the average person who goes to the theater maybe 5 times a year spend a night to go see a silent, black and white 4:3 movie? In this day when special effects and loud crashes are everything it seems like a tough sell. To that point it is right up the Academy's alley. THE ARTIST is a perfect fit for the old conservative Oscar voters.
It also has the Weinstein factor. They know how to promote a movie for The Academy. Rumor has it that Harvey Weinstein told Jean Dujardin, who plays the lead, to be available October through February to promote himself and THE ARTIST for an Oscar win. Dujardin speaks very little english, so he may have some obstacles promoting in it the US. If I were Harvey I would have Dujardin do all of the promotion in silence. What a better way to show off his talent and get the attention of the voters than to do it without saying a word. Either way he will most likely get a Best Actor nomination.
I predict THE ARTIST gets a nomination, but not the win. I am still going with THE DESCENDANTS as Best Picture.