Friday, 16 December 2011

Hugo There!

It has to be said, I'm not a Scorcese fan. That's not to say I don't like his work- he's undoubtedly a master - just that the subject matters for his films (sports, crime, period pieces, etc) usually hold no interest for me. I've only seen the first two Godfathers (both OK but overlong, despite numerous great scenes), Taxi Driver's OK but overrated and I've never watched Goodfellas, raging Bull or many other careers highs.

So last night we went to see Hugo: I've read nothing and heard nothing about it so went expecting nothing...and found myself sucked into a film that feels like a fairytale but is actually totally non-fantastical but becomes a very meta thing. It's hard to talk much about the film much without giving away spoilers but about halfway through, you realise we've been watching a movie about movies, commenting on cinema's earliest days and echoing its effects in the literal world.

There are some great performances: Chloe Moritz's warm and charming turn with a pitch-perfect English accent, Sasha Baron Cohen being brilliantly odd but not extreme (I dread to think how Carrey would have hammed that role up), a stern but soft Christopher Lee and touching support from Emily Mortimer and whoever plays the wife of Ben Kingsley, who also puts in a typically solid performance.

This won't be every body's cup of tea, a critic's dream but a mainstream audience's anathema. It's not a worthy movie in the hand wringing sense...but it's well worth a look if you fancy something charming and intelligent, topped off with some probably the best 3D seen since Avatar...

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