Friday, 30 December 2011


HUGO (2011)

Magic...I will use that word several times.
Martin Scorsese is a wizard and Hugo is magical.
Hugo is a kids film made for everyone, it doesn't dumb down for kids or feature a "sassy" Toucan voiced by Robbin Williams. It's a film that shows the wide eyed beauty of cinema, a film made by a man who loves the magic of cinema, about a man how was the first to bring magic to cinema, for an audience who is in love with the magic of cinema.
It just looks stunning and has some of the best use of 3D I have seen, the 3D is such a part of the story, Scorsese uses a lot of tight close-ups to give the feeling that the film can't be contained in the small black box of the screen. He also understands the limitations of 3D and avoids the blurring of fast motion by creating beuatifully constructed shots and using the depth of field to its fullest.
The sets and desgn work and also superb. Cogs,clocks and Automatons what's not to love?
There are some great montages of early film including the shot from The Great Train Robbery (1903) which inspired the shot of Joe Pesci pointing his gun towards the audience in Goodfellas (1990). I don't want to spoil the film for anyone but Scorsese does a very nice trick with the films of Melies which helps add to their magic spectacle.
Ben Kingsley gives a great troubled performance as Georges Melies and as many of the characters in the film is a broken man who is trapped by the pain of his past.
Sacha Baron Cohen stands out in the impressive cast as the Station guard, a role which could have been the pantomime villain, he is another broken character in pain.
This film has really touched me and it may have bought more than one tear to my eye but they were tears of happiness. It said more about the creation of cinema than a straight biographical film of Georges Melies would have done because it achieved what Georges Melies wanted from film cinematic illusion and the magic of dreams. A true visionary.

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