8. The Ending Reveals The Artist's Real Issue - The Artist
The Movie: Otherwise known as "That Silent Film That Won The Oscar", The Artist is a joyous celebration of cinema as a classical art form, but also a pleasant message that the industry should never be afraid to embrace change.
Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, a silent movie star who sees his world crumble as sound enters the movies and he fails to catch up. It's a pretty standard fall from grace narrative, given emotional poignancy through director Michel Hazanavicius' direction - perfectly invoking a late-20s silent film through cinematography music and performance, the film beautifully parallels Valentin's journey.
The Twist You Didn't Notice: Throughout the film, Valentine is shown to be incapable of making a Talkie hit. Quite why is never embellished, but the general thinking is that the star's ego is just too great that he's lost all objective filmmaking ability. The final scene, which has the film snap into sound, however, reveals the truth - he's French.
It's a funny moment that manages to give Jean Dujardin a line, honour the film's French origins and end the movie on a high note. But it's also revealing that, while it wasn't an issue in the silent days, his accent now doesn't fit the new Hollywood sound.
This, coincidentally, makes the fact it became the first French production to win Best Picture all the more delightful.