Hugo (2011)
July 14, 2020 4:53 AM - Subscribe

In 1931 Paris, an orphan living in the walls of a train station gets wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Scorsese’s Hugo is perhaps the first true example of how 3D can be used to heighten the cinematic experience, whilst simultaneously serving as a love letter to the medium’s rich history.

Scorsese transforms this innocent tale into an ardent love letter to the cinema and a moving plea for film preservation, and it's no accident that a clock figures so prominently in the action: movies may have the power to stop time, but time has the power to erode and destroy celluloid.

For all its worthy intentions and technical brilliance, Hugo is a hard film to love: not only for children, who may find the largely immobile plot a slog, but also to viewers of any age who’d rather be charmed than merely wowed.

Overall, Hugo is like a Christmas present – the wrapping is beautiful but the present itself is a disappointment.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That last review sure is pissy--yes, this isn't going to be on anyone's short list of their favorite Scorsese films, probably, but one star out of five? Sheesh. I thought it was fun, charming, and pretty astonishing for Scorsese to be stretching himself this much, this late in his career.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:09 AM on July 14, 2020 [6 favorites]

I remember seeing previews or commercials for this and thinking that Hugo was some kind of robot himself. When I eventually got to seeing the movie it took a while for me to realize that it wasn't going to be that kind of movie. That being said I've seen it a couple of times now, and I think it's a pretty good film. My kids like it too and didn't find it to be a slog.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:26 PM on July 15, 2020

I loved it at the time; I don't usually like 3d but it was totally worth it seeing this movie in that format. I've been reading about and watching a lot of silent films over the last decade and I feel like I should re-watch now that I'd probably get more references to them in this film. The poster is straight out of Safety Last but I'm sure that there's more.
posted by octothorpe at 10:38 AM on July 16, 2020

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