Monday, January 30, 2012



PRELUDE:  Martin Scorcese is a Hollywood favorite, so it is no surprise he went home with so many Oscar® nominations for his fantasy 3D film HUGO . With probably the best use of the 3D process this year, Cinematographer Robert Richardson and Visual Effects experts Rob Legato Joss Williams, Ben Grossman, and Alex Henning all got a tip of the hat from the Academy. John Logan wrote the Adapted Screenplay and was recognized with a nomination. For creating the tremendous Paris train station, Dante Ferretti, and Francesca Lo Schiavo were sited for Art Direction and Set Decoration respectively. Famed Costume Designer Sandy Powell was recognized with a nomination for her capturing of French period men’s clothing and women’s colorful gowns. Veteran film editor Thelma Schoonmaker took home her umpteenth nomination. Howard Shore added another nomination to his collection for Best Music Original Score. Sound Mixing came in for a nod for sound artists Tom Fleischman and John Midgley. And the proud and thrilled Martin Scorcese was nominated as Best Director and his delightful adventure was nominated as Best Picture.

REVIEW: Director Martin Scorcese has managed to  create a thoroughly marvelous film in Paramount’s HUGO  that is both entertaining and educational. Don’t let the fact the film is teaching us about the early days of film put you off. The story also mixes in a boy’s fantasy to create wondrous things of gears, clocks and springs.

Scorcese is a great champion of film preservation, and in this movie he weaves the story of early film pioneer Georges Melies’ quest to make the 1902 silent film A Trip to the Moon, as well as giving a nod to Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and other pioneers. Scorcese cleverly links Melies with orphan boy Hugo Cabret, played by young Asa Butterfield, whose sapphire blue eyes are astonishing and perfectly made for both color and 3D. As an orphan boy, Hugo must be cunning and fend for himself, and at that he hangs around a train            station and serves to keep the giant clocks working in precision. Before his dad (Jude Law) died, he showed him how to fix watches and clocks and learn all things mechanical. His drunken uncle (Ray Winstone) tends the big clocks at the Paris station and shows the boy the ropes.

Melies (Oscar® winner Ben Kingsley) became a forgotten man of cinema after World War 1, and he angrily destroyed most of his work. Now working as a toy store proprietor at the train station, he encounters Hugo and they become entangled in a cat and mouse game over the possession of a very valuable notebook with mechancial drawings and instructions inside that will help fix an old Automaton that Melies had built in his youth.

Hugo accidentally makes friends with Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) who is Melies god-daughter and who introduces the two “boys” through his gracious wife (Helen McCrory).

In an entertaining way, Scorcese emphasizes just what Melies did as a young film pioneer, especially mentioning that every frame of his film A Trip to The Moon was hand colored. Hugo becomes fascinated when he finds information at the library about what the old man really did as an early film-maker. He joins with Isabelle and a film historian (Michael Stuhlberg) to resurrect the old man’s reputation and his status in the film world.

Young Asa Butterfield, who plays the scruffy orphan, is a real find, Soon to be a teen-ager himself, he is well on his way to leading man status in a few years. His dazzling blue eyes will make the young girls squeal. He has previously been seen in Son of Rambow and The Wolfman.

Scorcese has taken 3D to beyond what most films are today in the process and shot some of the best three dimensional scenes ever seen on screen. The depth is eye-popping, yet the 3D process is never used to scare, shock, or jolt the eyeballs, but only to enhance the picture. Director of Photography Robert Richardson deserves kudos for his work as does production designer Dante Feretti in capturing Paris of yesteryear.

The film is rife with authentic details in clothing (by costume designer Sandy Powell), visual effects (Rob Legato), music (Howard Shore), and even the film editing by veteran Scorcese cutter Thelma Schoonmaker.
For more reviews and our magazine, visit us at  artsnfashion


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms