This isn't a woman's movie per se (despite beautiful performances by Chloe Grace Moretz and Helen McCrory) and this is no movie review either. I'm just here to tell you that "Hugo" is the Best Movie of the Year.
This rabid seal of approval comes from a not so big movie-goer, and I usually forget most movie details. But how do you forget "Hugo?" I was blown away, literally and figuratively, by this brilliant 3D offering from the genius Martin Scorsese.
I really haven't followed Scorsese's career much, though I was among the happy viewers who saw him finally get an Oscar in 2006 for "The Departed" after many well-chronicled disappointments. Seemed long overdue and he received his gold statue that night from Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg. Sweet!
But when I thought of Scorsese, I usually thought of gangster movies like "Goodfellas" or otherwise bloody ones like "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" -- a stereotypical perception addressed in this short film from Canada:
There is much more to Martin Scorsese than gansters -- and with "Hugo" we got Paris in the 30's, trains hurtling towards you in 3D, an automaton, rare film history, a taut mystery, big clocks and some great acting. They say that Scorsese made this movie for his daughter, but he really made it for me.
Scorcese's homage to George Melies and his invention of special effects truly made for a captivating film within a film. Here Ben Kingsley (Melies, both young and old in "Hugo") talks about his long-sought opportunity to work with Maestro Scorsese:
The one downer in this movie was the casting of the boy Hugo Cabret. Seems like Mr. Scorsese was going for naivete and got a face that was often a strange blank slate in too many tight shots. But he made up for that with the totally brilliant casting of Sacha Baron Cohen as the Station Inspector. And, of course, everyone is waiting to see which Cohen character will show up on Sunday night's Red Carpet.
"Hugo" is a gem that should be richly rewarded with Oscars galore. Too late for anyone to vote for this film, but you can still see it -- and then follow your own dreams and beliefs, instead following others.