Saturday, December 24, 2011
I wanted to discuss this here because I know Alek loved the film and will probably have some insightful things to say about it. Maybe he can help me and you see the light, because I didn't see what all the fuss was about at all. I went into the film knowing it was directed by Martin Scorsese, and from everyone I talked to was saying, it sounded like he'd made the next Black Stallion, E.T., or Babe - you know... really intelligently made and magical live action children's films.
But if it hadn't said Scorsese on the film anywhere, I would have sworn this had been directed by Chris Columbus. And no the circa Home Alone Chris Columbus. I'm talking the circa Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone Chris Columbus. The thing was painful. The story dragged, was filled with all those annoying plot devices that could be dissolved with a single real conversation, the acting was forced, the attempts at humor fell flat, and there were way too many uninspired chase scenes.
For me the only reason I'd recommend the film is for the flashbacks of George Melies in the studio. That was pure magic. I could have watched a whole film of that. Too bad those parts only totalled about 10 minutes, with the rest of the movie filled with shots of the actors trying to look really upset.
What's interesting is that I took my three older kids along to see it, and all of them loved it, and the oldest pontificated for a while afterwards about the themes and how Hugo helped Melies to see the value in his life and all that. So maybe Scorsese really was just aiming for a younger audience and wanted to make sure they got it.