Hugo [2011]

I know this is supposed to be a family movie. And who knows? Maybe I’m bitter. But I found most of Hugo to be extremely childish, all the while being completely aware that it’s next to impossible for a child to enjoy this film. The latest movie directed by Martin Scorsese is a mixed bag if I ever saw one. It alternates between being devastatingly dull and richly engrossing. The cast can be divided between good performances (Ben Kingsley, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg), so-so ones (Chloë Moretz and Sacha Baron Cohen are a little exaggerated) and others that are lacking (Asa Butterfield, with the exception of his last scenes). For a first time 3D filmmaker, Scorsese makes great use of the technology, particularly during the dizzying, kinetic opening sequence. The technique is the most impressive thing about Hugo: aspects like set decoration, costume design and cinematography are absolutely flawless. When the movie explores and recreates the cinematic work of Georges Méliès, it soars. If only it had focused on this enchanting theme, instead of the not-very-interesting lives of its characters, we would’ve wound up with a more satisfying picture.