127 minutes| U.K.-U.S.A.| 2011| Colour| 3D| D-Cinema

If Martin Scorsese seemed an unlikely choice to direct a 3D adaptation of the bestselling children’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the results serve as a reminder never to judge a world-class auteur by his cover. Indeed, Scorsese’s Hugo is no ordinary kids’ movie, but a rapturous valentine to movies themselves, sure to enchant viewers of any age. The setting is a sprawling Paris railway station in the 1930s, where an ingenious orphan boy (newcomer Asa Butterfield) lives a surreptitious existence behind the station walls. Gradually, the movie-obsessed Hugo comes to realise that the embittered old man who runs the station’s toy shop (a magnificent Ben Kingsley) is none other than early cinema pioneer George Méliès and, with some help from the old man’s precocious goddaughter (Chloë Grace Moretz), sets out to restore the reputation of an unjustly forgotten filmmaking genius.

The 3D effects are discreet yet dazzling, the love for cinema – and film preservation – quietly moving in this altogether unexpected Scorsese triumph. (Notes by Scott Foundas.)

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