Hugo review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
An orphan boy with a permanent awestruck expression, standing behind the face of a huge clock. A mini automaton with a lock but no key. Set on a bustling train station in 1931 France. With these fine elements, would you ever think this is a Martin Scorsese-directed picture?
Martin Scorsese has made a name for himself focusing on male lead characters who happen to be anti-heroes. And there’s nothing noble of their motives either, their stories on screen are violent, brutal, and definitely, for adults. So it’s such a surprise that Scorsese would be at the helm of a film – based on the young adult novel ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ by Brian Selznick even – that you could call ‘Hugo’ more up Steven Spielberg’s alley. Is Scorsese making his Spielberg movie?
Yes, but who says Scorsese can’t? In fact, with ‘Hugo’ Scorsese manages to come up with a wholesome, endearing, and family-friendly film that both adults and kids would enjoy. See, ‘Hugo’ is not just about the adventures of the titular Hugo (Asa Butterfield) and his friend Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz), it goes beyond. ‘Hugo’ is Martin Scorsese’s love letter to cinema.
One of film’s staunchest supporters is Martin Scorsese; he has dedicated his life and resources to the saving and restoration of old films. Like most of us, Scorsese is a movie fan and he’s not afraid to show it in ‘Hugo’. His sweeping camerawork for the majesty and toughness of 1931 France is superb. His eye for detail especially with his George Melies’ reproductions that the kids watch in a cinema is spot-on and adoring. Who else could pull of something wonderful like that if not for a fellow movie fan?
‘Hugo’ will be rendered in 3-D, which is a great way to present its behind-the-scenes team’s splendid hard work, from screenwriter John Logan, frequent Scorsese collaborator, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, production designer Dante Ferretti, and costume designer Sandy Powell. Like Hugo, we will be in our seats, in real awe.