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|And the Oscar for Best Eyebrows Goes to...|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Thursday, 05 January 2012 07:42|
If you haven't seen The Artist yet (admittedly it is only on in one UK cinema until this Friday), you've definitely heard about it. Rapturous praise has been thrown at everything in Michel Hazanavicius' flawless production, from Jean Dujardin's charismatic lead to Ludovic Bource's wonderful score.
Of course, the highest praise has been reserved for Uggie the dog. He even has a Twitter account.
But while the dog is amazing and Hazanavicius' construction of the 1920s is incredibly immersive, everyone's overlooked the most amazing thing about The Artist: the eyebrows.
Specifically, Jean Dujardin's eyebrows. They can do anything. They can convey emotion at the briefest glance. Enchant you with the slightest tweak. They could probably open a can of Baked Beans if you wanted them to.
Surely there can be no greater claim to a Best Actor Oscar than being able to replicate the function of a complex kitchen utensil with your eyebrows? Not even Roger Moore's James Bond could perform such a feat.
Just look at them. All hairy and above his eyes like two perfect daggers of truth. Daggers made of eyebrows. God, I love them.
So to restore the balance in the film's critical adoration, let's take a look at the sheer range of messages that Jean Dujardin (and his co-stars) manage to communicate with those gorgeous tufts of facial hair.
This is eyebrow acting 101. Now listen carefully, 007.
Is it the gaze into the distance? The well-trimmed moustache? The jumper that looks like it was borrowed from Carlton off The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? No. It's those eyebrows. Check out that slight furrow in the middle. Amazing.
Of course, it's only natural that you be skeptical at first. Fortunately, Jean Dujardin has eyebrows for that too. A slight raise at the corner of his left brow has more subtlety than 007's cock ever did.
Oh yes, those eyebrows are something special all right. Just look at the power they hold over women, combining a slight right cock upwards with that middle furrow to devastating effect. Mmmmmm. Yeah.
Once he's wooed a woman with those brows, romance swiftly follows - you may be surprised by how quickly it does. Fortunately, Jean's always ready to raise them in excitement. He crinkles his forehead and everything.
Of course, others in The Artist inevitably try to copy his subtle eyebrow talents. Check out Little Miss Over-Acting in the background.
Fortunately, some of the cast members do learn a thing or two from Jean Dujardin's skills. James Cromwell turns out to be a natural at eyebrow acting, shocking no-one.
And we can all tell what John Goodman's thinking from his two thick, bushy ones.
It's interesting to note that Bérénice Bejo's rising female star, while also being note-perfect in her role, doesn't quite have the same range as her male co-star:
You can almost copy and paste Peppy's eyebrows into any contrasting expression and it makes no difference whatsoever.
That's not to say that Bérénice Bejo isn't awesome (she is), but it's clear that Jean's eyebrow flexibility surpasses that of most mere mortals. Just look at how much he conveys in this single shot with those two strips of hair:
No wonder his wife, played by Penelope Ann Miller, is so jealous.
And yet, if you asked him how he does it, he'd probably just smile and waggles those charismatic eyebrows playfully - channeling the very essence of stardom that made silent film actors so engaging in the first place.
Even Uggie can't help but join in:
So when you go and see The Artist (and you WILL go and see it), as well as the tap dancing, the music, the post-modern dream sequence and the amazing wonder-dog, take a few minutes to appreciate Jean Dujardin's award-worthy performance.
And if anyone asks you why he's so special, just show them a picture of his eyebrows:
Head this way to read our review of The Artist - undoubtedly the worst film of the year. Presuming you hate happiness. And dogs. And eyebrows.