The studio replaces him with a young woman who the world wants to hear speak. And her career starts to take off even as George blows most of his money on one last silent film that tanks at the box office. Why does he do this? Vanity/pride. He thinks that all that he has accomplished is because he has something that others don't have. I draw this conclusion from one specific line in the film that George says as he anoints Peppy Miller (the young starlet) with a single beauty mark that seems to make all the difference.
But maybe that's just it. Maybe that's all the difference there is between a nobody and someone that is a star. A single beauty mark drawn in with a makeup pencil to distinguish her from other girls. Would Suzanne Collins be the star that she is if Scholastic hadn't made her one? I sometimes wonder.
I left the theater after having seen this movie and thought to myself how closely this movie is a reflection of our society. I know that in the gay community in particular, many older gay men become invisible to younger men simply because they are the old black and white silent pictures, and now everyone wants "sound". The same can be said for the straight community.
I also see this in ebooks. Printed books are under siege from the onslaught of e-readers, iPads, Nooks, Kindles, and tablets galore (the new). But just like in The Artist, there is still value in the old. You just need to know how to find it with an appreciative eye.
The Artist is an expose of the overall human condition that I see everywhere in America right now. The old get put into nursing homes seemingly at younger and younger ages because families don't want to care for them. I've seen many parents reach an age where there children dismiss them as a bother and probably secretly wish that they'd just die off because they've gotten so busy with their lives that they just can't spare the time. Fade to black. Invisible. When at one time you ruled the world or at least your family. Now...no one cares.
The Artist is you. The Artist is me. The Artist is a film that is for anyone that is an artist or who fancies themselves to be creative. As writers, we DO fit into this category. How many of you out there are so proud that you will only accept being traditionally published by the Big Six? How many of you desire the fame and adulation of Stephanie Meyer and keep it hidden just under the surface so that no one can tell how much you feel you deserve to be a star? How many of you are vain? That secretly think that your writing is so much better than another authors when you haven't even read what they've written? You just visit their website, look at their book, and think, "Someday I'll be famous and there's no way this person would have ever gotten signed to an agent anyway...it's good they self-published." How many of you feel contempt for another person as you walk or drive by them on the street just because they are fat, a different race, or smelly?
I haven't seen all the best picture nominees. But The Artist blows Hugo away. Martin Scorsese, in my opinion, doesn't stand a chance.