Hugo: Best movies of 2011, pick 5
Hugo: Best movies of 2011, pick 5. After the death of his father, eight-year-old Hugo spends his days living in a Parisian clock tower and attempting to restore an automaton, his father’s last project. When Hugo develops a close friendship with Emily, they both plan to finish restoring the automaton and celebrate Emily’s uncle’s lifetime work who is revealed to be a masterful film-maker of his time. Hugo makes Pinstripe Magazine‘s best movies of 2011 at number 5.
It’s astonishing to think that the same filmmaker who bought us the infamous Taxi Driver scene when Robert De Niro whips out a gun and asks us, threateningly, “You talking to me”, directed Hugo Rarely has a sequence been emulated so many times in other features.
What primarily shines through in Hugo is Martin Scorsese‘s fascination and child like-awe towards early cinema. Raised in New York and spending his childhood between the church, dodging Little Italy’s mobsters and transfixed to cinema screens, the auteur pays homage to cine-magician, George Miles who enthralled audiences with silent classics such as A Trip to the Moon – 1902. What Goodfellas did for gangster movies, Hugo does for the family film.
His first venture into 3-D film making, Hugo (adapted from Brian Selznick’s Invention of Hugo Cabret) is an enchanting spectacle on par with Aladdin, Toy Story and evokes similar sentiments as The Wizard of Oz. In short, this is possibly the least Scorsese-esque film but easily one of his best.
The cinematography is lavish and invokes a magical but Dickensian Paris as we coast and tunnel through a Gangs of New York style labyrinth of boulevards surrounding the station, avoiding capture which spells a period of detention in the children’s orphanage. Unlike other movies, the 3-D vision is used to great effect as part of the narrative and unfolds like a children’s pop-up book. It is not used to brandish its capacity.
Although sluggish in places and marred with stammered scenes, the movie comes into its formidable narrative when hidden gems such as Ben Kingsley’s true identity and the automaton’s purpose are revealed.
Ray Winstone (the drunk Fagin-esque uncle), Sacha Baron Cohen (the Chaplin comic constable) and Ben Kingsley (the bitter shopkeeper) are on top form, each with their own Achilles heel. No story is left incomplete as Harold Lloyd style chase sequences culminate with Ben Kingsley accepting Hugo and Emily’s guileless offering.
As the kids catalogue Miele’s work and reignite a passionate spark back into his life, after facing financial disaster, the movie spells out the message that creativity is one of the highest virtues and it radiates in a masterful showmanship and amazing piece of film-making.
Considering the global financial meltdown and the credit crunch, we at Pinstripe Magazine would encourage everyone to watch this example of accomplished film making as it certainly will rank as one of Scorsese’s best.
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