06 January 2012

The Artist & The Iron Lady: Full of fabulous outfits and an awful lot of hairspray

Well my pretties not only is it Friday ie. nearly the weekend when it is acceptable to walk around in your froggy pjs all day, but two fabulous films have been released today. The films are The Artist and The Iron Lady, both are jam packed full of history and an awful lot of curlers.

Now firstly The Artist, well I've been excited about this since I saw a review of it by the lovely Claudia Winkleman on Film 2011. The film is released today in cinemas around the country, it has been a huge hit and is expected to receive a few awards. I am very excited about this yet disappointed that I will have to trek about 50 miles to London to see it due to it not being on at my local cinemas, I suppose its an excuse to go shoe shopping. The Artist is a french silent film set in the glamorous late 1920s in Hollywood. The 100 minute black and white film tells the story of George Valentin played by Jean Dujardin, who is a world famous silent movie superstar. However, his career comes to an end when sound in films arrive changing cinema completely. Basically it meant you could have a snog with your boyfriend in the back row and still know what's going on in the film, which is always a plus.

The film begins in 1927 at the premiere of one of George's films, outside he is posing for pictures when a girl we later get to know as Peppy Miller gets pushed into him. Peppy ends up being photographed with him and the next day the headline on the front page of Variety magazine is 'Who's That Girl?'. The picture is of her kissing him on the cheek, which makes his wife give him one of those wifely evil looks. Trust me, you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of one of her looks.
Later Peppy auditions as a dancer and is spotted by George, who insists she has a part in his new film. This is the start of her career and her roles begin to get larger and larger. But sadly Heat magazine wasn't around then, so we couldn't get the juicy details on her and nose around her house. Two years pass and studio boss Al Zimmer, played by John Goodman pronounces the end of the production of silent films. George isn't too happy about this and thinks it will just be a fad, a bit like jeggings really, (well hopefully). George decided to direct and produce his own silent film which opens on the same day as a film with sound with Peppy in which becomes a huge hit, thank god she doesn't have a voice like Stacey Solomon.

George's long suffering wife leaves him and he has to find money from somewhere, unfortunately they didn't have eBay then so he had to do it the old fashioned way by selling his possessions in an auction house. The only thing George has left in the world is his loyal comical dog. To be honest you should go and see the film just to see his dog. George's career flops while Peppy rises to stardom, but Peppy helps George get back on his feet and rescues him from the bottom. The film is a tale of success, loss and friendship, oh and an oh so cute dog.

It was filmed on studio stages as well as on old Hollywood streets. The Artist is jam packed full of the 1920s with gorgeous dresses, fabulous cars and men in suits, what's not to love? The filmmakers have done an incredible job of making it just like they used to, for 100 minutes you are taken back in time and thrown into the glamour of Hollywood in the 1920s, I bet even Doctor Who wouldn't be able to do that.

If you want to see the official trailer go here and believe me after watching it you will want to dig your curlers and fringed dress out and start dancing like a flapper, well at least attempt to.

The other film that is released today is The Iron Lady with the delightful Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher. This film is a million miles away from the The Artist and follows Margaret's fight in a male dominated world and her rise to be Prime Minister and run the country.

The film is narrated through a series of flashbacks, including the 17 days leading up to the Falklands War in 1982. Her supportive husband Denis Thatcher is portrayed by Jim Broadbent and a young Margaret Thatcher is played by Alexandra Roace.

Expectedly the film has received mixed reviews and the events shown have been questioned, but I think this film would be great for anyone to see if they are interested in politics, british history or just want to see Margaret with her pearls kicking a lot of men's butts. The movie gallops through some of the major events in her life including the miner's strike, the IRA bombing at Brighton and of course the Falklands.

You can see just from the trailer that Meryl Streep plays her outstandingly well and the make up and hair people have done a fantastic job, even though it involved powerful hairdryers and an awful lot of hairspray. The sad aspect of the movie is Margaret suffering from dementia, and it is sad to see a strong and powerful woman who acheived so many things go through this. I will always remember that when I was in year 7 for our English exam we had to right about someone that inspired us. Most people wrote about their parents or a celebrity, but me being the geek that I was and probably still am, wrote about Margaret Thatcher. Also me being cynical thought that it would get me some extra marks and make me stand out from the girls that wrote about Avril Lavigne and Jennifer Lopez.

I'm sure I probably got some of her policies mixed up, but what I was trying to get across was I was inspired by the way she fought to get to the top in her beautifully cut outfits and hat in a boring black suited male world. She was kicking political butt. There are two trailers for the film, one short and one a bit longer. In the short trailer some of her advisers tell her that to maximise her appeal to be Prime Minister she needs to get rid of her hats, her pearls and make her voice more authoritive. Margaret's reply is 'I may be persuaded to surrender the hat, but the pearls however are absolutely non-negotiable.' You go girl! With that sort of attitude she would make the Sex and the City girls proud. If you want to see the official trailer go here. You may disagree with her policies, but she was definitely an extrordianry women who fought for her country with class, dignity and one hell of a blowdry.

If you decide to go and munch on popcorn and enjoy these films I hope you enjoy them, just make sure you save me some Minstrels.

Second Hand Rose


  1. the iron lady is definitely on my list! meryl streep is one of my absolute favorites, she is just brilliant no matter who she plays. :)

    i am also very interested in british history (for 2010, i loved the king's speech!), so i know i'm gonna like this one. :)

    <3, Mimi

  2. Thanks for the information! So many people have recommended this movie; I might just have to go see it.


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