Of the directors in favor of using 3D technology in their films–James Cameron, Michael Bay, Guillermo del Toro–I’m surprised to see Martin Scorsese added to this list. But there’s a first time for everything, and Martin Scorsese has just released his first 3D picture, Hugo, an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s best-selling novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
I did not see the film in 3D and therefore cannot comment on its effectiveness. I can, however, comment on the remarkable 2D film Scorsese has made, perhaps his best since Goodfellas.
Those expecting an emotionally shallow family film will be sorely disappointed, as Hugo is an exquisite adventure drama, and a poignant homage to great cinema from one of the best directors of our time. Scorsese delivers the story of teenage orphaned boy Hugo (Asa Butterfield) living in a train station, with only a broken automaton to remember his father by. As he roams the station by day looking for missing parts to engineer the automaton back to life again, he evades arrest by the militant Inspector Gustav (Sascha Baron Coen) and aggravates toy shop owner Papa Georges (Ben Kingsley). When the second act turns to reveal that Papa Georges is in fact innovative retired film director Georges Méliès, the film deepens through Scorsese’s discerning lens, igniting the screen with a grandiose tribute to an important moment in the history of special effects in cinema.