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NYFF Press Roundup: Day 16

Movieline’s S.T. VanAirsdale identifies The Artist as an Oscar front-runner based on the positive reaction of the press, with “all signs point[ing] to success.” In addition, VanAirsdale raves about Bérénice Bejo, who plays Peppy Miller in the film:
“Starring Jean Dujardin as a self-obsessed silent-era superstar marginalized by the advance of talkies, The Artist is a touching (if slightly overprecious) romp through cinema’s first great sea change. Like fellow NYFF ‘11 class members My Week With Marilyn and Hugo, the film is also a gorgeous exercise in movie love — this one shot in black and white on location at many of the backlots where its influences were born more than 80 years ago. Its surprises and wonders are too rich to spoil here, from the game supporting cast of American actors to an animal performance worth its own Oscar consideration, and it does lapse periodically into a simple-minded vanity that mirrors its main character’s own worst trait. But as a showcase of pure filmmaking and performance craft, it’s a blessedly singular piece of work. Most impressive is Bérénice Bejo, the Argentinean actress who co-stars as upstart Hollywood starlet Peppy Miller.”

indieWIRE’s The Playlist writes a spotlight on The Artist and recaps yesterday’s Q&A after the first of two NYFF screenings of the movie:
“Despite stealing audiences’ hearts and walking away from the prestigious Cannes Film Festival with the Best Actor Award, Michel Hazanavicius’s nostalgia-fueled silent feature The Artist may have its work cut out for it. Will regular movie-goers go and see something like this in an era when the mere thought of a flick not being in color is appalling? It’s a tough call, but with the right push, it might get sales solely based on the fact it’s unlike anything in at the cineplex today. After that, all the movie needs is five minutes: it’s an instant charmer, an escapist picture done with flair and an enormous amount of heart.” 

David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter reviews Jeffrey Schwarz’s Vito and deems it “inspirational:”
“'Inspirational' is an overused word with cringe-worthy connotations. But at a time when Wall St. protesters struggle to pierce the indifference of today’s political and financial establishment, this lovingly made HBO doc provides a laudable example. Russo’s advocacy showed pinpoint focus as he galvanized the nascent LGBT community to tackle the church, the State, labor unions, political parties, health and psychology organizations and the media.” 

In his Huffintgton Post essay, director Jeffrey Schwarz writes about Vito Russo’s influence on him and why he decided to make Vito:
“Vito's message of standing up, speaking out and living passionately and bravely in the face of adversity is something we can all aspire to, regardless of sexual orientation. More than 20 years after Vito's death, members of the LGBT community around the world still face prejudice and persecution, and HIV/AIDS is still a crisis. Vito knew the goal of equality and justice would not be achieved in his lifetime, but that it would come to pass. It's my hope that this film will allow his work to once again move and inspire us all as we continue the battles that he once fought.”

Wall Street Journal selects The Artist, Goodbye First Love and Love Hotel as films to watch before the end of 49th New York Film Festival.

If you would like to know more about the story behind making of Vito, don't miss our free NYFF Forum: "indieWIRE Meets: Jeffrey Schwarz." Come to the Film Center Amphitheater at 6:00pm or watch it online via our Livestream channel.

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