The Artist Prompts Some Moviegoers To Demand Refunds

By Katey Rich 2012-01-18 13:36:53discussion comments
The Artist Prompts Some Moviegoers To Demand Refunds image
Do you remember back to last spring, when Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life had opened in theaters, blowing away critics and moviegoers alike even when plenty of people complained it was a bunch of arty nonsense? And do you remember the memorable instance at a Connecticut theater, where so many moviegoers were demanding refunds that they posted a sign explaining it was "a uniquely visionary and deeply philosophical film" worth their time? Turns out, that kind of audience backlash is still happening-- and for a much less difficult to penetrate film.

According to UK's The Telegraph, moviegoers at several Odeon Cinemas chains have demanded their money back after seeing The Artist, not realizing it was a silent film, and assuming the sound was broken. As The Artist continues to rack up critic's prizes and leads the BAFTA nominees in sheer nominations, it's easy enough for the movie's director, Michel Hazanavicius, to take this kind of thing in stride:

I have been told about it and I think it's hilarious, actually. 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!

Living my life the way I do, completely immersed in new movie releases and especially awards season, I aways find it amazing when people buy a ticket to a movie expecting something totally different. It's true that the posters and trailers for The Artist haven't proclaimed "This is a silent movie!" but it is in black and white, which has to be at least some kind of tip-off. Luckily for everyone, a few irritated moviegoers aren't going to keep The Artist from continuing to be a giant hit. Now the critics who complain that The Artist isn't as deep or meaningful as The Tree of Life can at least take comfort in knowing some moviegoers don't get this one, either.
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