HugoFeature Film |
Scorsese’s love letter to cinema’s early age.
American auteur and devoted cinephile Martin Scorsese steps out of his comfort zone of antiheroes and menacing men to craft a child-centered tale about the magic of movies with Hugo, based on the lauded book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. An orphaned boy, Hugo (Asa Butterfield) lives in the clockwork of a bustling train station in 1930s Paris, where he's tirelessly hunted by a crippled but determined station inspector (a delightful and scene-stealing Sacha Baron Cohen). Previously trained by his deceased father, Hugo strives to fix their last shared project, a found automaton built to reveal an unknown message. In seeking to uncover the robot's secrets, Hugo forms an unlikely bond with a uniquely mustachioed toy seller (Ben Kingsley) and his enchanting goddaughter, Isabelle (an effortlessly winsome Chloë Grace Moretz). Hugo is a curious adventure painted with sweeping cinematography, lush art design, lively performances, and truly spectacular 3D. Yet Scorsese stumbles with heartwarming moments, and the pacing lumbers, awkwardly switching between a kid-friendly adventure and a film aficionado's quest to preserve the past's masterworks. The dual effort ultimately overburdens Hugo, making it feel like two films bluntly fused together. In the end, while Hugo is flush with riches for movie lovers, it's too meandering to be a pleasing family flick.