Finally got to see this and it lived up to the hype. Great homage to the olden days of film. Dujardin and Bejo were both brilliant, and Goodman was solid in a small role as well. Kudos to the guy who scored the film. Talk about a vital piece to the movie! It was pretty easy to figure out what was going on the entire time despite no dialogue, however,
You're not meant to understand what the cop is saying. The lack of intertitles in that scene is a device to show Valentin as "out of his element" — so out-of-touch that he can't even understand what's going on around him (as well as to cement the ushering-out of the silent era/the advent of the talkies). That's why even the character seems confused and unable to understand what the cop is saying.
and I agree that it lives up to the hype. We saw it last night with Hael, and it even managed to win over my not-very-movie-watching boyfriend, quite a feat for a silent French b&w! Any one of those three could normally be a deal-breaker for him.
I hope John Williams is prepared to lose the Oscar TWICE, because Ludovic Bource has this in the bag for Best Original Score.
The only thing I was a little about was the anachronistic use of Pennies from Heaven.