Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Movie Magic

I don’t know if Martin Scorsese is interested in dreams in particular, but one of the things I enjoyed most about his fabulous new movie is the key part dreams and dreaming played in it. Treading carefully to avoid a spoiler moment for anyone, I’ll try to explain why.

First, there is a marvelous focus on the history of cinema. Sir Ben Kingsley is stunning in the role of one of the early great artists in the field, Georges Melies, who used the inspiration of dreams for his images and film plots, at least this is the picture Scorsese paints of him. Seeing excerpts of his actual films in Hugo, it’s easy to believe that it's the case. Besides Melies’ work, it’s wonderful to watch classic clips of original old footage of the great silent movies and stars from the cinema’s nascent days. All this great film history is woven into the main story of a little orphaned, abandoned boy and the young, orphaned, adopted girl who befriends him.

But the icing on the cake for me comes in the dream sequence, Hugo's dream, that leads to the climax of the movie. Bravo, Martin! Whether you meant to or not, in my opinion, you got it right. Plus, it was absolutely fabulous cinematography, everything!

The 3D did give the movie more of a “magical” surreal and, yes, even dreamlike quality, but I’m still annoyed by it at times. As Jim puts it, “Even with the glasses, some things are still slightly out of focus so your eyes have to work to adjust.” My eyes were strained after 2 plus hours of it. I don't think the technology is there yet, so it doesn’t add enough viewer value to justify the expense or the wear and tear on my vision.

I wish I could talk more about Hugo’s dream, but there’s no way I want to lessen the impact or the pleasure of the experience for you. I recommend the movie. I think it has its corny moments, but the acting was superb all of the time. There was drama, humor, tragedy, love and redemption; most of all there was the heart, courage, imagination and curiosity of two children, Hugo Cabret and Isabelle. Both roles were superbly played by Asa Butterfield as Hugo Cabret and Chloe Grace Moretz as Isabelle.

When the movie has been around a while; I’ll probably write about Hugo’s dream more specifically. I'm interested to hear what you think of it, if you see the movie.


  1. Haven't seen it yet - will do without the glasses. ;)
    And - if it were your dream?

  2. Oh, I could definitely go there, but have to wait till you see it or I'll give too much away. Happy Hugo.