Hugo 2011 3D hollywood movies review

A passionate brief for film preservation wrapped in a fanciful tale of childhood intrigue and adventure, Hugo dazzlingly conjoins the earliest days of cinema with the very latest big-screen technology. At once Martin Scorsese‘s least characteristic film and his most deeply felt, this opulent adaptation of Brian Selznick‘s extensively illustrated novel is ostensibly a children’s and family film, albeit one that will play best to sophisticated kids and culturally inclined adults. Paramount has no choice but to go for broke by selling this most ingenious of 3D movies to the widest possible public, hoping that critical acclaim and novelty value will pique the curiosity of all audiences. All the same, it remains something of a tricky proposition commercially.

Like so many of the most popular and enduring fictions centered on children, from Dickens to Harry Potter, this one is about orphans and castoffs, kids who must scheme, fight and resist authority to make their way in life. With exceptional imagination, first Selznick and now Scorsese and scenarist John Logan have found a way to connect their resourceful leading characters with one of the great early figures of cinema, Georges Melies, most famous as the originator of the science fiction film with his 1902 A Trip to the Moon and, perhaps more significantly, the first man to recognize the connection between the cinema and dreams.

In an incidental moment that alone justifies the entire recent resurgence of 3D, Scorsese recreates the legendary presentation of the Lumiere brothers’ 1897 Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, at which audiences flinched in horror as a train filmed coming into a station appeared to be headed right at them, in a way that astonishingly captures the reaction the brief clip was described as having created. For anyone remotely interested in film history, Hugo must be seen in 3D if only for this interlude, which the director and cinematographer Robert Richardson have pulled off through an impeccably precise combination of framing and timing.


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