Hugo, Martin Scorsese's extravagant 3D movie, based on the children's book by Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. An orphaned boy lives in the walls of a Paris train station in the 1920s, maintaining the station's gear-filled clocks, pilfering casually & evading a not-quite-inept policeman played by Sacha Baron Cohen. Asa Butterfield plays Hugo & looks small & perptually haunted. I did not get into the Dickensian plot involving an automaton that draws & a toy-seller's hidden past, but I felt I got my money's worth of 3D effects. Every shot has layers of depth. Even a library reading room recedes a mile into the distance. It's actually kind of freaky when an actor's head fills the screen. It made me very aware of the way the plane of the side of the head goes back from the face. The opening sequence is an amazing, impossible roller coaster ride through the bustling train station & the labyrinthine clockwork interior where Hugo lives. It might be all you really need to see.
The movie is for a family audience, & the story elements are emblematic & tied together at the end of a full 2 hours. Scorsese clearly had fun recreating George Méliès's glass-enclosed film studio & its frolicsome atmosphere. I happened to see this on the anniversary of the Lumière brothers' 1st public exhibition of a projected movie, a snippet of which appears in the film.
§ Hugo (2011)
Director: Martin Scorsese
126 min, USA