Hugo 3D

Rated PG 127 min. 2011

Martin Scorsese’s Hugo is quite simply a masterpiece. Full stop. It’s that absolutely rare kind of movie that you watch constantly to remember why you love movies, and afterward you are hardly able to contain a desire to run right out and tell others they need to see this movie. The moment I got home from seeing the film, I started telling people to “Stop whatever you’re doing and go see Hugo.” I think it is quite likely Scorsese’s masterpiece — and almost certainly the most personal film he has ever made. Yes, it is a film about a boy, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), who lives in the walls of a Paris train station in the 1930s, but it’s considerably more than that. It’s a movie about the movies and the people who make them (one famous pioneer in particular) and the people who love them. It’s the story of the birth of every movie geek, and in that way, it’s Scorsese’s own story as well as our own. It’s about the history of the movies, the passing of time, and the cruelty of changing tastes. It’s about dreams and the magic of the movies and their unique ability to make dreams real. And it’s the most elegant and beautiful film of the year and possibly of the 21st century. The depth of what is going on and what is being addressed in this film is simply amazing. As far as I’m concerned, absolutely all of it works. The film manages to capture the essence of cinema, to trace the history of it, celebrate it, and offer the most heartbreaking cry for film preservation I’ve ever seen. And it does this last not by preaching about the topic, but by making it wholly human and putting a face to it — and a real face at that — so that it becomes as much a very personal tragedy, and triumph, as an artistic one. It’s a film of almost unbearable, even heartbreaking, beauty in every sense. Its sheer humanity is astonishing, as is its utter lack of post-modern irony and cynicism. This is a fine, fine film that ought to be seen by anyone who loves the movies. —Ken Hanke

Film Credits

Official Site: www.hugomovie.com

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: John Logan and Brian Selznick

Cast: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone, Richard Griffiths, Helen McCrory and Michael Sthlbarg

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