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Trailer Watch: Too Much Revealed of The Artist, Weinsteins' Marketing Dilemma

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 26, 2011 at 5:39AM

It's one of the unfortunate tried-and-true tenets of film marketing that the more you reveal in a trailer, the better you grab audiences to see your film. The Weinstein Co. faces a challenge as far as selling Michel Hazanavicius' Cannes best-actor-winning The Artist to audiences.
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Thompson on Hollywood

It's one of the unfortunate tried-and-true tenets of film marketing that the more you reveal in a trailer, the better you grab audiences to see your film. The Weinstein Co. faces a challenge as far as selling Michel Hazanavicius' Cannes best-actor-winning The Artist to audiences.

The movie is a charmingly accessible Star is Born Hollywood romance set at the same nostalgic turning point as Singing in the Rain: the advent of sound. The film is shot in sparkling black-and-white and it’s silent—except for a surging score and a few key percussive moments.

Here's our round-up of Cannes reviews; the trailer is below.

Jean Dujardin is winning—and heartbreaking—as George Valentin, a silent star fallen on the skids, alongside Berenice Bejo as the young starlet on her way up, John Goodman as a benevolent studio chief and John Cromwell as Valentin’s loyal chauffeur. The English-language silent dialogue is easy to understand. The pick-ups from famous scores peak with the artful use of “The Love Theme” from Bernard Herrmann’s score from Vertigo. And did I say there’s an adorable dog who saves our hero in more ways than one? They should put this little terrier up for the role of Asta in the new Thin Man. He’s a keeper.

This movie is a soft lob down the middle for the Academy--it will play beautifully for them. But TWC needs to lure moviegoers as well, and thus they are giving way the whole movie.

This article is related to: Awards, Genres, Independents, Video, Marketing, Oscars, Period, Romance, Weinsteins, Trailers


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.