Martin Scorsese’s eye-popping adaptation is a strange delight Discuss this article

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Well, this is unexpected. Marketed as though it were a saccharine Chris Columbus flick, Martin Scorsese’s eye-popping kids-lit adaptation turns out to be a bizarrely two-headed beast. As Dhs624 million essay films about Georges Méliès go, you can hardly do better. A wonderful Ben Kingsley plays the illusionist-moviemaker who made a reported five hundred features, including 1902’s seminal silent A Trip to the Moon, before going bankrupt during WWI. Méliès ended up running a toy shop in the Paris Montparnasse train station, which is the primary setting of Scorsese’s 3D feature (certainly one of the finest uses of the format).

Méliès isn’t really the star of the story; this is largely the tale of an orphaned boy, Hugo Cabret (Butterfield, bland), who attempts to solve the mystery of a mechanical man bequeathed to him by his deceased father. But childlike whimsy doesn’t suit Scorsese; he’d rather sit Hugo to the side and school him (and us) in silent-film colour-tinting instead of playing out the slapsticky daddy-issues narrative. You still can’t help admiring the project’s ambition; an odd combo of Babe: Pig in the City and Godard’s Histoire(s) du Cinéma, Hugo is the strangest bird to grace the multiplex in a while.

By Keith Uhlich
Time Out Doha,


  • Duration: 126
  • Released: Thu, 29 Dec
  • Classification: G
  • Language: English
  • Website
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Lee

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