Hugo: Scorsese's endearing masterpiece celebrating films


Not since "Cinema Paradiso" has a film celebrated the power of early film, it's birth, it's pioneers more than Hugo has. In fact, rarely do films (or much else for that matter) celebrate its early days. Hugo, while celebrating earliest films, tells the story using the most modern of technology. Filmed in gorgeous 3D - the first 3D film that feels made for 3D and would seem incomplete without it. There are no fancy projectiles jutting at you - just a subtle distinction of depth. The film has this beautiful, golden glaze, a glow, this intense celebration of light and selective focus. It is how you'd dream a Paris in a fairytale, in your dreams. Filmed in a wonderfully rich detailed Paris train station of Gare Montparnasse, Hugo is not just a celebration of films and the beginning of films, it is a celebration of film-making, of dreams and of the reasons why we need to go to the movie theaters.

Hugo is the story of a young boy who likes to tinker and fix things. He lives, impecunious fixing clocks in  a Paris train station. He roams around searching for something, amidst a great jungle of gears and machinery. His beloved father leaves him a gift that he must decipher. He tries to figure out the secret and along the way makes friends and enemies. His nemesis is an enigmatic old keeper of a toy store who seems to know more than he is telling. His friend is Chloe Moretz, reminding us of a lovely young Hermoine with big words and a giant glowing smile. Sacha Baron Cohen, plays his best (and only good) role since King Julian in the Madagascar movies.

Brian Selznik, the author of "Inventions of Hugo Cabret", the book behind the film, takes a lot of credit. His rich, detailed book certainly made Scorsese's job easier. Martin Scorsese, who is a bit of a film historian, has made some of the most powerful films for grown-ups in Hollywood ("Taxi Driver", "Last Temptation of Christ", "Raging Bull", "Good Fellas" to name a few) seems to shine the most in this fairy tale for kids of all ages. It is clearly a film of love and attention, of care of passion. The academy, that showered an Oscar on him for one of his weakest films ("The Aviator") thinking it was last hurrah, could never have predicted what an amazing adventure awaited them.

Hugo is a must watch. It is a beautifully made film, one of the most endearing films to come out of Hollywood in a while. It is the kind of movies Spielberg made 20 years ago. It is the stuff that made me fall in love with Hollywood films. It is beautiful.