Why Does Oscar Hopeful ‘The Artist’ Have Fans Screaming for a Refund?
After picking up three trophies at Sunday night’s Golden Globes ceremony, ‘The Artist’ is poised for a big Oscar season, as well — but some moviegoers apparently don’t know that much about it, because they’ve asked for refunds after discovering it’s actually a silent film.
The flick is a tribute to 1920s Hollywood, an era before actors’ voices could be heard in movies. Not only is it silent and shot in black-and-white, it was also purposely reduced to a smaller screen size to give it the authentic look of the original films so popular from the late 19th century to the early 30s.
All of this, by the way, has been part and parcel of the film’s marketing campaign and repeatedly mentioned by critics who’ve lavished the movie with praise — so it’s baffling that ticket-buyers would be surprised.
Regardless, one theater spokesman in Liverpool, England said it had “issued a small number of refunds to guests who were unaware that [it] was a silent film.”
Michel Hazanavicius, who directed ‘The Artist,’ finds it all terribly amusing, saying, “If I could give any advice to people it would be that they should ask for their money back whenever they see a film they don’t expect. If it’s not written on the poster ‘this is a bad movie’ and they think it’s a bad movie, ask for a refund!”
He also recounts an anecdote about the sometimes-unexpected hurdles of language barriers: “It’s funny because we don’t have the same word in French for ‘silent’, we say ‘mute’. And in the beginning people kept asking, ‘Is this a movie about mute and deaf people?’”
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a trailer for the movie that’s causing some oddly-sheltered people so much unnecessary angst: