Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Countries & Regions: United States
Studio: Entertainment in Video
Length: 126 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 2 April 2012
Cat No: EDV9707
Hard of Hearing Subtitles: English
Screen ratio 1:1.78
Dolby Digital 5.1
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Cast: Jude Law , Ben Kingsley , Christopher Lee , Ray Winstone , Johnny Depp , Richard Griffiths , Helen McCrory , Emily Mortimer , Frances de la Tour , Sacha Baron Cohen , Chloe Moretz , Michael Stuhlbarg , Asa Butterfield
Martin Scorsese makes his first foray into children’s cinema with this semi-fantastical drama based on a book by Brian Selznick. Asa... Read More
Sergei Eisenstein once said, 'to doubt that stereoscopic cinema has its tomorrows, is as naïve as doubting whether there will be tomorrows at all.'
Martin Scorsese's wise, wonderful children's film employs the very the latest 3D technology and special effects, and though they may well represent cinema's future, they are used to evoke the magic of its yesterdays. Based on Brian Selznick's 2007 novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, this is a charming adventure and an intricate mystery, but also a heartfelt love letter to the early days of cinema which reflects Scorsese’s passion for preserving and popularising the work of forgotten filmmakers (in this case, Georges Méliès).
Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is an orphan. His father (Jude Law), a watchmaker, perished in a museum fire, leaving behind only the charred automaton he was restoring. Abandoned by his alcoholic uncle (Ray Winstone), Hugo makes his home behind the ornate walls of Paris's Gare Montparnasse train station, trying to ensure the station clock runs on time while staying one step ahead of the dogged station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen). Convinced the automaton contains a message from his father, Hugo steals parts from a toy stall run by a mysterious old gentleman (Ben Kingsley). When he’s finally captured, Hugo is given a chance to solve the puzzle, aided by the gentleman’s goddaughter, Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz).
Scorsese mixes spirited adventure with sweet character-based comedy, and as our young heroes continue their quest, we observe the daily routines of the station's regular inhabitants, including Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths as a pair of lovelorn shopkeepers and Emily Mortimer as a shy flowergirl. Younger viewers of a certain temperament may fidget, and Scorsese does take his time before cutting to the chase, but anyone with a curiosity for film history will be well rewarded with a treasure trove of snippets and sequences that recall its earliest days.
Scorsese even stages a spectacular re-enactment of the Lumière brothers’ L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat, which cleverly segues into the famous 1895 derailment of the Granville–Paris Express. It's just one example of the way Scorsese has turned cinematic literacy into seat-of-your-pants entertainment. In many ways, Hugo is a companion piece to The Artist; it’ll make you fall in love with cinema all over again.