I don’t get the hype about Martin Scorsese. Every year at the Academy Awards he is presented as if he would be this total genius, a director like no one else. I retain some hope that this undue praise is evoked by him being a nice chap whom people like on a personal level. In that case, I can live with it, even though aesthetically or politically, he doesn’t live up to the hype.
This goes true for the most recent Scorsese film, Hugo, which again reaped a bunch of Oscars. We have a poor orphan, so much for the Dickensian element. But this is not all. We also have a strange world of clockworks and craftmanship, a mysterious automaton and a equally mysterious
Gandhi toyshop owner. Of course, the latter soon enough develops father-figure like qualities. No surprise there. Things take a turn for the worse when the movie more and more moves from a story about orphans and automatons to a story about the magic quality of
the movies, of early cinema and the wonders it brought to this world. We do now that movie makers like movies. No surprise here. But for me, the shift from the magic of clockworks to the magic of movies felt like a bit of a stretch, there was no real, inner connection between the two.
In any case, there are a few pretty pictures, although less so than I expected after all the awards. I guess the award showers were intensified by the fact that this was a feel-good movie for the movie industry itself – of course members of the Academy like a movie that praises their achievements. In my experience neither the aesthetics nor the story really were moving. Just: moving pictures, some nice ideas, some entertainment.
IMDb entry | trailer