TIME’s Richard Corliss on Hugo, “A Masterpiece”

hugo2

Richard Corliss’ review will appear in TIME’s Hollywood preview issue.  I am transcribing it here.

Martin Scorsese made  his rep as the fierce bard of American gangster machismo. From Mean Streets to The Departed, he has sung the body choleric.  So why would he make a film of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick’s rhapsodically nostalgic children’s book? Because Hugo is fascinated by artistic contraptions that cast spells over the audience.  And Scorsese, a lifelong lover and promoter of classic films, has never lost his infant wonder at the spectacle of giant images in a darkened movie palace.  So Hugo is not only an act of devotion from a modern movie artist to the wizards who inspired him; it is also Scorsese’s imaginary autobiography.

An orphan since the death of his beloved father (Jude Law), Hugo (Asa Butterfield) lives in Paris’ Montparnasse train station, where he keeps the clocks running perfectly — a job left him by his absent, alcoholic uncle.  Fearful of being caught by the pompous station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) and with no way of cashing his uncle’s checks, Hugo lives furtively inside the clock tower, surviving by stealing food from local shops.  Obsessed with assembling a mysterious automation his father had been working on, Hugo also filches machine parts from teh toy store of stern, gloomy Papa Georges (Ben Kinglsey).  The boy’s friendship with Georges’ god-daughter Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) will help him unwrap sensational secrets, including the invention of movie magic.

Scorsese and screenwriter John Logan share Selznick’s belief that movies are both the stuff dreams are made of and the product of supreme technological expertise.  It’s a machine that makes art.  That’s evident in the two amazing tracking shots that open Hugo.  The first traversing the Paris skyline to alight inside the train station, the second scampering after Hugo through the building’s clockwork innards.  Shot in 3-D (a format that dates back nearly to the dawn of cinema), these images impart a vertiginous ecstasy.

Scorsese, no less than Selznick, wants to open viewers’ eyes to the sacred sorcery of the earliest works by the Lumiere brothers, Georges Melies, Harold Lloyd — the whole fabulous parade — and to show how these masterpieces were birthed by tinkerers of genius.  But Hugo is more than a love letter to film preservation.  It gives full Dickensian heft to its sad, tender story of a lost boy on a mission.  Bursting with emotion and exquisitely inhabited by Butterfield and the rest of the cast, this beautiful film is a mechanism that comes to life at the turn of a key in the shape of a heart.

 

DiCaprio, Mulligan — Beautifully Gatsby-esque

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Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz in new Hugo clip

98 Comments

  1. November 19, 2011

    off topic: outstanding and near-perfect start for The Muppets at RT… 100% and 9.7 average if only 6 reviews. I mean… LOL. I didn’t expect masterpiece ratings by any means for this movie.

    On Hugo… well, I’m not sold on this just yet. It’ll be a fun battle bewteen Hugo, Harry Potter and IF The Muppets by any means hold on to this excellent start, also them. On Hugo – HP, it can go either way, none or even both. God bless the 5 to 10 nominees rule, this just makes it even more exciting.

  2. November 19, 2011

    off topic: outstanding and near-perfect start for The Muppets at RT… 100% and 9.7 average if only 6 reviews. I mean… LOL. I didn’t expect masterpiece ratings by any means for this movie.

    On Hugo… well, I’m not sold on this just yet. It’ll be a fun battle bewteen Hugo, Harry Potter and IF The Muppets by any means hold on to this excellent start, also them. On Hugo – HP, it can go either way, none or even both. God bless the 5 to 10 nominees rule, this just makes it even more exciting.

  3. November 19, 2011

    (just to add: The Muppets seems now locked for a GG nom and most likely some songs attention at the Oscar)

  4. November 19, 2011

    (just to add: The Muppets seems now locked for a GG nom and most likely some songs attention at the Oscar)

  5. Pierre de Plume
    November 19, 2011

    Well, I’m hooked on the Muppets movie out of devotion to Kermit & Miss Piggy. But more on point, Hugo is sounding more and more fascinating to me.

  6. Pierre de Plume
    November 19, 2011

    Well, I’m hooked on the Muppets movie out of devotion to Kermit & Miss Piggy. But more on point, Hugo is sounding more and more fascinating to me.

  7. Olivia
    November 19, 2011

    So good to hear that people who have already seen it are enjoying Hugo. The story is so brilliant and gorgeous. A for-sure Oscar nominee.

  8. Olivia
    November 19, 2011

    So good to hear that people who have already seen it are enjoying Hugo. The story is so brilliant and gorgeous. A for-sure Oscar nominee.

  9. Nick
    November 19, 2011

    I cant wait for Hugo. I was looking forward to The Muppets, but after hearing Frank Oz, and more of the original Jim Hensen guys disown the movie, I’m bracing for the worst. Thing is…all was looking well until that last trailer that included fart jokes. And the guys are right…”our” Muppets would never have had those types of things. I’m sure Hugo will be a masterpiece though. Marty doesn’t have to resort to those types of things to make a movie. Thank god for Martin Scorsese.

  10. Nick
    November 19, 2011

    I cant wait for Hugo. I was looking forward to The Muppets, but after hearing Frank Oz, and more of the original Jim Hensen guys disown the movie, I’m bracing for the worst. Thing is…all was looking well until that last trailer that included fart jokes. And the guys are right…”our” Muppets would never have had those types of things. I’m sure Hugo will be a masterpiece though. Marty doesn’t have to resort to those types of things to make a movie. Thank god for Martin Scorsese.

  11. Bob Burns
    November 19, 2011

    have not been this excited to see a film for a very long time.

    we have a beautiful picture David took from inside that clock (Orsay) hanging in our house.

  12. Bob Burns
    November 19, 2011

    have not been this excited to see a film for a very long time.

    we have a beautiful picture David took from inside that clock (Orsay) hanging in our house.

  13. November 19, 2011

    Not many movies earn perfect scores of 100 from both THR and Variety. Hugo’s done it, and looks like TIME might be be another 100. Can’t remember ever seeing this happen before on the first day of collecting reviews.

  14. November 19, 2011

    Not many movies earn perfect scores of 100 from both THR and Variety. Hugo’s done it, and looks like TIME might be be another 100. Can’t remember ever seeing this happen before on the first day of collecting reviews.

  15. Johan
    November 19, 2011

    I wouldn’t call THR’s review a perfect 100, although very positive. He says something about repetitiveness and overlength.

  16. Johan
    November 19, 2011

    I wouldn’t call THR’s review a perfect 100, although very positive. He says something about repetitiveness and overlength.

  17. daveylow
    November 19, 2011

    Agree. The Hollywood Reporter review was more like a 96.

    I’m not sure what would make Muppets die-hards happy. The new film sounds like it’s going to bring the Muppets back to the spotlight.

  18. daveylow
    November 19, 2011

    Agree. The Hollywood Reporter review was more like a 96.

    I’m not sure what would make Muppets die-hards happy. The new film sounds like it’s going to bring the Muppets back to the spotlight.

  19. therealmike
    November 19, 2011

    “Super 8″
    “Harry Potter”
    “The Adventures of Tintin”

    and now “Hugo”. This is the year of childhood-movies.

  20. therealmike
    November 19, 2011

    “Super 8″
    “Harry Potter”
    “The Adventures of Tintin”

    and now “Hugo”. This is the year of childhood-movies.

  21. MikeQ.
    November 19, 2011

    Technically, Hugo did receive perfect scores of 100 from both THR and Variety, if using Metacritic (which lists both as “100″ reviews). I think that’s what Ryan was referring to.

    Add the ‘Time’ review in that and I’m super excited for this!

  22. MikeQ.
    November 19, 2011

    Technically, Hugo did receive perfect scores of 100 from both THR and Variety, if using Metacritic (which lists both as “100″ reviews). I think that’s what Ryan was referring to.

    Add the ‘Time’ review in that and I’m super excited for this!

  23. November 19, 2011

    On and off topic, Ryan and Sasha. Just noticed HP is on the Best Picture candidates shortlist in the frontpage, as it should have been since its realease given the critical success… however what I don’t still see is the even more obvious likely Adapted Screenplay nom (a bigger chance than picture itself) given Kloves adapted 7 out of the 8 movies and has Oscar pedigree already. Looking at the competition, I’d bet right now on Hugo, Potter, The Descendants, Moneyball & War Horse, with alternate for Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy (probably up for The Descendants or Moneyball or HP, pending on how things fare).

    I wouldn’t rule out Butterfield being considered as Lead and therefore missing the nom, but allowing Kingsley and Cohen to have a chance. If he goes supporting, none of them is likely to be nom’d, too much of inner competition for the vote, plus the cathegory confussion.

    I think Hugo might end, if nom’d for Picture with noms for Direction, Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, both sound and maybe cinematography, score, costume…

    The big problem may be in the end if voters consider too similar in appeal Potter, Hugo, Tintin, Super 8 and Rise of the Planet of the Apes… all of them are going to be promoted for a Best Picture nom and I doubt they won’t end cancelling each others out… they undoubtfully are #1 picks only for the brave. You feel always more important by voting for War Horse, Moneyball or Tree of Life rather than Hugo or Harry Potter. We can go back to 1995 and watch in horror that Babe lost to Braveheart and Se7en wasn’t even nom’d for anything else than technicals. Genre bias still plays huge on this game.

  24. November 19, 2011

    On and off topic, Ryan and Sasha. Just noticed HP is on the Best Picture candidates shortlist in the frontpage, as it should have been since its realease given the critical success… however what I don’t still see is the even more obvious likely Adapted Screenplay nom (a bigger chance than picture itself) given Kloves adapted 7 out of the 8 movies and has Oscar pedigree already. Looking at the competition, I’d bet right now on Hugo, Potter, The Descendants, Moneyball & War Horse, with alternate for Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy (probably up for The Descendants or Moneyball or HP, pending on how things fare).

    I wouldn’t rule out Butterfield being considered as Lead and therefore missing the nom, but allowing Kingsley and Cohen to have a chance. If he goes supporting, none of them is likely to be nom’d, too much of inner competition for the vote, plus the cathegory confussion.

    I think Hugo might end, if nom’d for Picture with noms for Direction, Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, both sound and maybe cinematography, score, costume…

    The big problem may be in the end if voters consider too similar in appeal Potter, Hugo, Tintin, Super 8 and Rise of the Planet of the Apes… all of them are going to be promoted for a Best Picture nom and I doubt they won’t end cancelling each others out… they undoubtfully are #1 picks only for the brave. You feel always more important by voting for War Horse, Moneyball or Tree of Life rather than Hugo or Harry Potter. We can go back to 1995 and watch in horror that Babe lost to Braveheart and Se7en wasn’t even nom’d for anything else than technicals. Genre bias still plays huge on this game.

  25. Sasha Stone
    November 19, 2011

    On and off topic, Ryan and Sasha. Just noticed HP is on the Best Picture candidates shortlist in the frontpage, as it should have been since its realease given the critical succes

    I only did it to get Arninian off my back on Twitter. I don’t think it has a realistic chance in screenplay or in picture.

  26. Sasha Stone
    November 19, 2011

    On and off topic, Ryan and Sasha. Just noticed HP is on the Best Picture candidates shortlist in the frontpage, as it should have been since its realease given the critical succes

    I only did it to get Arninian off my back on Twitter. I don’t think it has a realistic chance in screenplay or in picture.

  27. Sasha Stone
    November 19, 2011

    I wouldn’t call THR’s review a perfect 100, although very positive. He says something about repetitiveness and overlength.

    “Too many notes.”

  28. Sasha Stone
    November 19, 2011

    I wouldn’t call THR’s review a perfect 100, although very positive. He says something about repetitiveness and overlength.

    “Too many notes.”

  29. daveylow
    November 19, 2011

    Harry Potter had a strong chance to win a craft award this year but I think Hugo may now get some of those this year.

  30. daveylow
    November 19, 2011

    Harry Potter had a strong chance to win a craft award this year but I think Hugo may now get some of those this year.

  31. November 19, 2011

    Has anyone heard Howard Shore’s music? What are the critics saying about it?

  32. November 19, 2011

    Has anyone heard Howard Shore’s music? What are the critics saying about it?

  33. Only Me
    November 19, 2011

    From the Hugo Movie Companion:

    Shore: “In the beginning of the movie, seven themes are introduced, including a mystery theme; Hugo’s theme, which at first is a bit playful and optimistic, but also bold; and the Station Inspector’s theme, which will be one of pursuit, with a bit of military clumsiness and humor. The themes are used for clarity of storytelling and they develop over the course of the film. They are the foundation from which the entire score can grow.”

    Some of the instruments Howard uses in Hugo include a musette (a French accordion), an ondes martenot (a French theremin), a small 1930s drum kit, an alto saxophone, and a vintage gypsy jazz guitar. Howard says, “I want to match the depth of the sound to the depth of the image. I would like the score to sound like the imagery. A marriage of light and sound.”

    I read somewhere that J Depp plays the gypsy jazz guitar as part of a small musical group that appears behind the scenes.

  34. Only Me
    November 19, 2011

    From the Hugo Movie Companion:

    Shore: “In the beginning of the movie, seven themes are introduced, including a mystery theme; Hugo’s theme, which at first is a bit playful and optimistic, but also bold; and the Station Inspector’s theme, which will be one of pursuit, with a bit of military clumsiness and humor. The themes are used for clarity of storytelling and they develop over the course of the film. They are the foundation from which the entire score can grow.”

    Some of the instruments Howard uses in Hugo include a musette (a French accordion), an ondes martenot (a French theremin), a small 1930s drum kit, an alto saxophone, and a vintage gypsy jazz guitar. Howard says, “I want to match the depth of the sound to the depth of the image. I would like the score to sound like the imagery. A marriage of light and sound.”

    I read somewhere that J Depp plays the gypsy jazz guitar as part of a small musical group that appears behind the scenes.

  35. Tina B
    November 19, 2011

    Sweeney Todd had several reviews of 100% back in 2007.

  36. Tina B
    November 19, 2011

    Sweeney Todd had several reviews of 100% back in 2007.

  37. Criswell
    November 19, 2011

    Howard Shore used the theremin in the Ed Wood soundtrack.

  38. Criswell
    November 19, 2011

    Howard Shore used the theremin in the Ed Wood soundtrack.

  39. Bryce
    November 19, 2011

    “…they undoubtfully are #1 picks only for the brave. You feel always more important by voting for War Horse, Moneyball or Tree of Life rather than Hugo or Harry Potter.”

    Exactly. Because I*, like all awards voters, vote for a movie based on how important it makes me feel when voting for it. But now that I know it’s brave to vote for Harry Potter I might just do that. After all, why feel important when I can be brave instead?

    Or maybe I’ll just vote for what I liked more.

    The Tree of Life.

    *Not a voter

  40. Bryce
    November 19, 2011

    “…they undoubtfully are #1 picks only for the brave. You feel always more important by voting for War Horse, Moneyball or Tree of Life rather than Hugo or Harry Potter.”

    Exactly. Because I*, like all awards voters, vote for a movie based on how important it makes me feel when voting for it. But now that I know it’s brave to vote for Harry Potter I might just do that. After all, why feel important when I can be brave instead?

    Or maybe I’ll just vote for what I liked more.

    The Tree of Life.

    *Not a voter

  41. Bryce
    November 19, 2011

    The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, War Horse, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Moneyball, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close are 10 times more likely to receive Adapted Screenplay nominations. Yes. Ten times.
    ^I had my team of statisticians double-check that number.
    They also concluded that Hugo, The Help, and The Adventures of Tintin are three times as likely as HP 7B.
    HP7B was listed above We Need to Talk About Kevin, tied with Drive, and below The Ides of March.

  42. Bryce
    November 19, 2011

    The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, War Horse, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Moneyball, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close are 10 times more likely to receive Adapted Screenplay nominations. Yes. Ten times.
    ^I had my team of statisticians double-check that number.
    They also concluded that Hugo, The Help, and The Adventures of Tintin are three times as likely as HP 7B.
    HP7B was listed above We Need to Talk About Kevin, tied with Drive, and below The Ides of March.

  43. AR
    November 19, 2011

    Is there a paragraph missing? I’m looking for the “masterpiece” quote.

    The complete online review is only available to subscribers.
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2099702,00.html

  44. AR
    November 19, 2011

    Is there a paragraph missing? I’m looking for the “masterpiece” quote.

    The complete online review is only available to subscribers.
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2099702,00.html

  45. November 19, 2011

    The irony is, Sasha, that back to its release HP would have been almost locked for BP/Adapted noms, pending on how Hugo and Tintin would fare later in the race and how WB’s offerings would be recieved.

    Now that WB starts pushing heavy for it, as it’s only HP or Extremely Loud for possible Oscar success at BP noms, is right the moment that after the strenght of Tintin (no BP nom but will syphoon) and Super 8 (no BP nom but will syphoon) and Hugo (more likely for that BP nom but it may be no room for both offerings), HP has downgraded to the likely/possible to the longshot status.

    This ain’t over yet. Critic circles, PGA, HFPA, BAFTA, SAG may come to the rescue. I guess BAFTA and SAG are the most likely showings, the rest is “on hold”.

  46. November 19, 2011

    The irony is, Sasha, that back to its release HP would have been almost locked for BP/Adapted noms, pending on how Hugo and Tintin would fare later in the race and how WB’s offerings would be recieved.

    Now that WB starts pushing heavy for it, as it’s only HP or Extremely Loud for possible Oscar success at BP noms, is right the moment that after the strenght of Tintin (no BP nom but will syphoon) and Super 8 (no BP nom but will syphoon) and Hugo (more likely for that BP nom but it may be no room for both offerings), HP has downgraded to the likely/possible to the longshot status.

    This ain’t over yet. Critic circles, PGA, HFPA, BAFTA, SAG may come to the rescue. I guess BAFTA and SAG are the most likely showings, the rest is “on hold”.

  47. CarsonT
    November 19, 2011

    Mark my words! Hugo is a legitimate contender!

  48. CarsonT
    November 19, 2011

    Mark my words! Hugo is a legitimate contender!

  49. Tero Heikkinen
    November 20, 2011

    For Potter, PGA I can see surely coming, but not much more. HFPA does not stand for Harry Frickin’ Potter Awards and SAG might see an ensemble nomination with no win. I see nothing (outside technical) for BAFTA, the Brits have so much more to offer there.

    In fact, the only place where Potter will do fairly well are the Oscars. I can’t imagine the movie topping any critics’ Top Ten lists.

    Hugo is no competition to HP, Tintin might be – in the few categories we already know about.

  50. Tero Heikkinen
    November 20, 2011

    For Potter, PGA I can see surely coming, but not much more. HFPA does not stand for Harry Frickin’ Potter Awards and SAG might see an ensemble nomination with no win. I see nothing (outside technical) for BAFTA, the Brits have so much more to offer there.

    In fact, the only place where Potter will do fairly well are the Oscars. I can’t imagine the movie topping any critics’ Top Ten lists.

    Hugo is no competition to HP, Tintin might be – in the few categories we already know about.

  51. November 20, 2011

    Tero, problem is, Potter is one of the best reviewed films of the year, if the critics want to be coherent, Potter will have a strong showing at the end of the year’s top 10 list. I assume that it’ll be remembered with some special recognition even if left out of the “normal” awards.

    I mean, you can’t rave a blockbuster and then shy off at the end of the year pretending it didn’t exist? Well, you actually can, but to the risk of being easily embarrassed afterwards.

    The best way to “save the day” is probably to give a special awards to the kids or consistently award it as Best Ensemble. It’s pure logichal analysis, nobody is going to ridicule a Best Ensemble that includes film screen legends as Maggie Smith, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters… plus the biggest success in child casting in film history (so many “new” actors that have grown up to the challenge through a whole decade and 8 films).

    It’s not that I want it to happen, it’s that I think that’s the logichal exit at this point. Awards season is mainly about politics and the critics jumped to a trap the same moment they started raving Potter as a new true instant classic of film. Kind of the same trap they jumped to with Schindler’s List, Return of the King, Titanic… event film, raved… how can you deny it afterwards even if you think The Piano, Chasing Amy, L.A. Confidential, Lost in Translation or whatever are the better film? You go to the extremely good event film, of course.

    I’m not comparing HPVIII with them, I’m comparing the general situation of the race. But of course, Schindler’s List, Return of the King and Titanic DIDN’T have such a direct competitor for the “appeal” as HPVIII has, both Hugo and Tintin. Even Super 8, if you ask me (even thought I shrugged big time to that one, but I acknowledge it’s been well received).

    It’s an exciting race, I can’t wait for critics circles to start popping up and riding us in new directions. I do expect surprises… I have ZERO faith that the winner would be The Artist, Moneyball or The Descendants. Not when they have bigger films such a War Horse around. It’ll be like Million Dollar Baby defeating such a masterpiece as The Aviator.

  52. November 20, 2011

    Tero, problem is, Potter is one of the best reviewed films of the year, if the critics want to be coherent, Potter will have a strong showing at the end of the year’s top 10 list. I assume that it’ll be remembered with some special recognition even if left out of the “normal” awards.

    I mean, you can’t rave a blockbuster and then shy off at the end of the year pretending it didn’t exist? Well, you actually can, but to the risk of being easily embarrassed afterwards.

    The best way to “save the day” is probably to give a special awards to the kids or consistently award it as Best Ensemble. It’s pure logichal analysis, nobody is going to ridicule a Best Ensemble that includes film screen legends as Maggie Smith, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters… plus the biggest success in child casting in film history (so many “new” actors that have grown up to the challenge through a whole decade and 8 films).

    It’s not that I want it to happen, it’s that I think that’s the logichal exit at this point. Awards season is mainly about politics and the critics jumped to a trap the same moment they started raving Potter as a new true instant classic of film. Kind of the same trap they jumped to with Schindler’s List, Return of the King, Titanic… event film, raved… how can you deny it afterwards even if you think The Piano, Chasing Amy, L.A. Confidential, Lost in Translation or whatever are the better film? You go to the extremely good event film, of course.

    I’m not comparing HPVIII with them, I’m comparing the general situation of the race. But of course, Schindler’s List, Return of the King and Titanic DIDN’T have such a direct competitor for the “appeal” as HPVIII has, both Hugo and Tintin. Even Super 8, if you ask me (even thought I shrugged big time to that one, but I acknowledge it’s been well received).

    It’s an exciting race, I can’t wait for critics circles to start popping up and riding us in new directions. I do expect surprises… I have ZERO faith that the winner would be The Artist, Moneyball or The Descendants. Not when they have bigger films such a War Horse around. It’ll be like Million Dollar Baby defeating such a masterpiece as The Aviator.

  53. Tero Heikkinen
    November 20, 2011

    You seem to be into bigger films (blockbusters even) than I am. That’s a matter of taste, neither is right or wrong. But if you look at the scores on Metacritic, RT etc… the absolute BEST reviewed films are something we rarely talk about here. They are mostly Foreign, Docs etc. I’m sure Potter will remain as the best reviewed blockbuster of 2011, but it will not remain as the best reviewed Oscar hopeful – even when we are already in mid-November.

  54. Tero Heikkinen
    November 20, 2011

    You seem to be into bigger films (blockbusters even) than I am. That’s a matter of taste, neither is right or wrong. But if you look at the scores on Metacritic, RT etc… the absolute BEST reviewed films are something we rarely talk about here. They are mostly Foreign, Docs etc. I’m sure Potter will remain as the best reviewed blockbuster of 2011, but it will not remain as the best reviewed Oscar hopeful – even when we are already in mid-November.

  55. daveylow
    November 20, 2011

    @Jesus Alonso — I like a lot of big films as you do but I would never want a film to win an award over another because it’s bigger.

    There are a lot of great films that work on smaller scales.

  56. daveylow
    November 20, 2011

    @Jesus Alonso — I like a lot of big films as you do but I would never want a film to win an award over another because it’s bigger.

    There are a lot of great films that work on smaller scales.

  57. daveylow
    November 20, 2011

    “Hugo is no competition to HP, Tintin might be – in the few categories we already know about.”

    ****
    I disagree. Editing, Visual Effects, Cinematography, Costumes, Sound, Editing, even music. Hugo is going to be a strong competitor in those crafts categories.

  58. daveylow
    November 20, 2011

    “Hugo is no competition to HP, Tintin might be – in the few categories we already know about.”

    ****
    I disagree. Editing, Visual Effects, Cinematography, Costumes, Sound, Editing, even music. Hugo is going to be a strong competitor in those crafts categories.

  59. November 20, 2011

    Only Me:

    Thanks for the info. Sounds like Shore has another playful, comedic score although I don’t think that this one is going to be too hammy and tongue-in-cheek like Ed Wood. The Ondes Martenot is a very exciting instrument. I loved Elmer Bernstein’s use of it in The Good Son. thanks again.

  60. November 20, 2011

    Only Me:

    Thanks for the info. Sounds like Shore has another playful, comedic score although I don’t think that this one is going to be too hammy and tongue-in-cheek like Ed Wood. The Ondes Martenot is a very exciting instrument. I loved Elmer Bernstein’s use of it in The Good Son. thanks again.

  61. Bryce
    November 20, 2011

    “It’s not that I want it to happen, it’s that I think that’s the logichal exit at this point. Awards season is mainly about politics and the critics jumped to a trap the same moment they started raving Potter as a new true instant classic of film. Kind of the same trap they jumped to with Schindler’s List, Return of the King, Titanic… event film, raved…”

    I’m too damn lazy to actually look this up on the .000001% chance that you might be right, but no sane critic claimed that Harry Potter 7B was a “new true instant classic of film.” And if they did, I can ASSURE that they didn’t say it with Schindler’s List and the like in mind.

    Seriously, man. I think you’re right that HP has a more likely shot than some bloggers are letting on (Btw, I am not a Potter fan). But statements like that just make me side with the saner “crush the Potterheads” side of the world.

    And by world, I mean all 14.6 million of us that give a shit whether or not HP7B is nominated or not.
    Hopefully not.

  62. Bryce
    November 20, 2011

    “It’s not that I want it to happen, it’s that I think that’s the logichal exit at this point. Awards season is mainly about politics and the critics jumped to a trap the same moment they started raving Potter as a new true instant classic of film. Kind of the same trap they jumped to with Schindler’s List, Return of the King, Titanic… event film, raved…”

    I’m too damn lazy to actually look this up on the .000001% chance that you might be right, but no sane critic claimed that Harry Potter 7B was a “new true instant classic of film.” And if they did, I can ASSURE that they didn’t say it with Schindler’s List and the like in mind.

    Seriously, man. I think you’re right that HP has a more likely shot than some bloggers are letting on (Btw, I am not a Potter fan). But statements like that just make me side with the saner “crush the Potterheads” side of the world.

    And by world, I mean all 14.6 million of us that give a shit whether or not HP7B is nominated or not.
    Hopefully not.

  63. Tero Heikkinen
    November 20, 2011

    “I disagree. Editing, Visual Effects, Cinematography, Costumes, Sound Editing, even music. Hugo is going to be a strong competitor in those crafts categories.”

    Editing, Music and Costumes (probably Cinematography, too) are not happening for HP, so it’s not competing with Hugo there.

  64. Tero Heikkinen
    November 20, 2011

    “I disagree. Editing, Visual Effects, Cinematography, Costumes, Sound Editing, even music. Hugo is going to be a strong competitor in those crafts categories.”

    Editing, Music and Costumes (probably Cinematography, too) are not happening for HP, so it’s not competing with Hugo there.

  65. JR
    November 20, 2011

    I had wrote about seeing a special screening for Hugo a few days ago on another topic which was overshadowed by later topics. So I will post my thoughts again. In regards to the 3D in the film, I thought it was the best 3D I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t think there wasn’t any 3D moment that I thought was unnecessary. Being a college student majoring in Film Production, I loved the references to the great silent films of the past. I thought the film was excellent, but there is one thing that did bug me from the screening. Basically, this is a film that I guess is being aimed at for kids and their parents. When I saw the film, I was sitting next to a kid (probably 6 or 7) and his mother. About twenty minutes into the film, the boy asks his mom if they can leave. He became very disinterested in the story occurring on the screen. They did leave a few minutes later. Maybe I’m just over-thinking this too much, but I think Hugo is the kids film that adults would enjoy more than kids would. I strongly recommend and hope that you see Hugo (especially in 3D), but I fear that the onslaught of other family films this season (Happy Feet, Muppets, Tintin, Chipmunks) will result in Hugo being overlooked by the public despite the excellent reviews it will get in the next couple of days. Hopefully I’m wrong about this and that Hugo will be a box office hit. I do know for a fact that Hugo will score a big number of Oscar nominations (I’m currently predicting Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, Score, Visual Effects, Supporting Actor (Kingsley) and Best Picture) and likely one or two wins. The Best Picture prediction sounds a bit far-fetched, but it’s a family film directed by Martin Scorsese that will be more enjoyed by adults than kids. Since the expansion to 10 nominees, I’ve noticed that there is usually one nominee that is a family film (UP and Toy Story 3 were PIXAR, but there wasn’t a good PIXAR film this year and I don’t think Tintin will be strong enough for Best Picture). So for the moment, I’m predicting Hugo will be nominated Best Picture unless reviews or box office gross tell me otherwise. Once again, I thought Hugo was an excellent film and I strongly recommend that you see this film in 3D.

  66. JR
    November 20, 2011

    I had wrote about seeing a special screening for Hugo a few days ago on another topic which was overshadowed by later topics. So I will post my thoughts again. In regards to the 3D in the film, I thought it was the best 3D I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t think there wasn’t any 3D moment that I thought was unnecessary. Being a college student majoring in Film Production, I loved the references to the great silent films of the past. I thought the film was excellent, but there is one thing that did bug me from the screening. Basically, this is a film that I guess is being aimed at for kids and their parents. When I saw the film, I was sitting next to a kid (probably 6 or 7) and his mother. About twenty minutes into the film, the boy asks his mom if they can leave. He became very disinterested in the story occurring on the screen. They did leave a few minutes later. Maybe I’m just over-thinking this too much, but I think Hugo is the kids film that adults would enjoy more than kids would. I strongly recommend and hope that you see Hugo (especially in 3D), but I fear that the onslaught of other family films this season (Happy Feet, Muppets, Tintin, Chipmunks) will result in Hugo being overlooked by the public despite the excellent reviews it will get in the next couple of days. Hopefully I’m wrong about this and that Hugo will be a box office hit. I do know for a fact that Hugo will score a big number of Oscar nominations (I’m currently predicting Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, Score, Visual Effects, Supporting Actor (Kingsley) and Best Picture) and likely one or two wins. The Best Picture prediction sounds a bit far-fetched, but it’s a family film directed by Martin Scorsese that will be more enjoyed by adults than kids. Since the expansion to 10 nominees, I’ve noticed that there is usually one nominee that is a family film (UP and Toy Story 3 were PIXAR, but there wasn’t a good PIXAR film this year and I don’t think Tintin will be strong enough for Best Picture). So for the moment, I’m predicting Hugo will be nominated Best Picture unless reviews or box office gross tell me otherwise. Once again, I thought Hugo was an excellent film and I strongly recommend that you see this film in 3D.

  67. November 20, 2011

    When I saw the film, I was sitting next to a kid (probably 6 or 7) and his mother. About twenty minutes into the film, the boy asks his mom if they can leave. He became very disinterested in the story occurring on the screen. They did leave a few minutes later.

    I remember that exact same story from an Academy screening of The Social Network last year.

    Only difference was, “I was sitting next to someone (probably 76 or 77) and his mother.”

  68. November 20, 2011

    When I saw the film, I was sitting next to a kid (probably 6 or 7) and his mother. About twenty minutes into the film, the boy asks his mom if they can leave. He became very disinterested in the story occurring on the screen. They did leave a few minutes later.

    I remember that exact same story from an Academy screening of The Social Network last year.

    Only difference was, “I was sitting next to someone (probably 76 or 77) and his mother.”

  69. Scott
    November 20, 2011

    @Tero

    Even with those non-contenders/works nobody cares about taken into consideration Potter is still right towards the top. Here let’s take a look at those Metacritic scores you all put so much weight in…

    We Were Here- 95 (documentary)
    Shame- 94
    My Perestroika- 92 (foreign)
    Poetry- 89 (foreign)
    The Arbor- 88 (documentary)
    I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You- 87 (foreign)
    Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (foreign)
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2- 87
    Moneyball- 87

    So basically it’s Shame, then Potter and Moneyball tied for 2nd.

  70. Scott
    November 20, 2011

    @Tero

    Even with those non-contenders/works nobody cares about taken into consideration Potter is still right towards the top. Here let’s take a look at those Metacritic scores you all put so much weight in…

    We Were Here- 95 (documentary)
    Shame- 94
    My Perestroika- 92 (foreign)
    Poetry- 89 (foreign)
    The Arbor- 88 (documentary)
    I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You- 87 (foreign)
    Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (foreign)
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2- 87
    Moneyball- 87

    So basically it’s Shame, then Potter and Moneyball tied for 2nd.

  71. drake
    November 20, 2011

    shame only has 4 reviews in so far… its way to early to consider it amongst the best reviewed films on metacritic this year

  72. drake
    November 20, 2011

    shame only has 4 reviews in so far… its way to early to consider it amongst the best reviewed films on metacritic this year

  73. Scott
    November 20, 2011

    Ah, I wasn’t aware of that drake, thanks. I just went by their “high scores” page for this year.

  74. Scott
    November 20, 2011

    Ah, I wasn’t aware of that drake, thanks. I just went by their “high scores” page for this year.

  75. JR
    November 20, 2011

    Hey Ryan, I don’t know why you’re dissing on me. I said that I really enjoyed watching Hugo. I also said that I might be over-thinking the situation about the kid losing interest during the screening. I think Hugo, as wonderful as it is compared to other family films this year, will not be the film that kids will beg their parents to take them to go see compared to other films this season like Puss in Boots, Happy Feet 2, Muppets, Alvin and the Chipmunks, ect. I as an adult think Hugo is more appealing than Alvin and the Chipmunks 3, but seeing how well Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel did compared to better family fare that year like Princess and the Frog and Where the Wild Things Are, I just fear that Hugo will not get the kid audience it wants. Other than that, Hugo will have no problem picking up awards this season.

  76. JR
    November 20, 2011

    Hey Ryan, I don’t know why you’re dissing on me. I said that I really enjoyed watching Hugo. I also said that I might be over-thinking the situation about the kid losing interest during the screening. I think Hugo, as wonderful as it is compared to other family films this year, will not be the film that kids will beg their parents to take them to go see compared to other films this season like Puss in Boots, Happy Feet 2, Muppets, Alvin and the Chipmunks, ect. I as an adult think Hugo is more appealing than Alvin and the Chipmunks 3, but seeing how well Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel did compared to better family fare that year like Princess and the Frog and Where the Wild Things Are, I just fear that Hugo will not get the kid audience it wants. Other than that, Hugo will have no problem picking up awards this season.

  77. November 20, 2011

    not dissing you at all, JR.

    I’m saying you’re right — we can’t really trust many 7-year-olds or very many 77-year-olds to know a good movie when they see one.

  78. November 20, 2011

    not dissing you at all, JR.

    I’m saying you’re right — we can’t really trust many 7-year-olds or very many 77-year-olds to know a good movie when they see one.

  79. Nick K.
    November 20, 2011

    I have a sneaky suspicion “Hugo” will be this year’s “Where the Wild Things Are” and will alienate some kids and their parents while enchanting and delighting others. If it’s also like “Wild Things”, it will at the very least become a cult classic.

  80. Nick K.
    November 20, 2011

    I have a sneaky suspicion “Hugo” will be this year’s “Where the Wild Things Are” and will alienate some kids and their parents while enchanting and delighting others. If it’s also like “Wild Things”, it will at the very least become a cult classic.

  81. November 21, 2011

    Don’t misread what I wrote… my #1 for 1993 is The Piano. My #1 for 1997 is Chasing Amy. My #1 for 2003 is Return of the King but in a torn decission with Lost in Translation. Among my number 1 films yearly, films like In the Loop (2009), El Milagro de P. Tinto (1998, probably you even didn’t hear about this one), Mulholland Drive (2001), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Babe (1995), Trainspotting (1996), Pulp Fiction (1994)… ecclectic taste as you see and probably the only big films in the last 20 years I thought were the best would be The Dark Knight (2008), and Return of the King as mentioned before.

    I was playind devil’s advocate. The objective true is Potter is the industry + audiences + critics agreement, and even if “no critic” said it’s an instant classic, they mostly behaved like if it was.

    And come on, the Potter franchise has classic status already. You don’t need the reviews to be a classic. The term “classic” comes from other merits, and they basically are becoming an icon, which Potter and his pals already are.

    If you re-read what I wrote, this time try to understand my incoherent words, you would come to the fact that I’m even doubting it’s obvious that critics can’t forget that after the whole year run, they had Potter in the main positions. Will they skip it? That’s the big question… in similar cases, they didn’t, they assumed they raved an event film, and favored it in front of some smaller ones. That being said, that MT on Shame can help it to get some precursors (Fassbender? Picture?) and make AMPAS overcome its taboos (or not so much taboos, they didn’t have a problem to nominate The Last Tango in Paris).

  82. November 21, 2011

    Don’t misread what I wrote… my #1 for 1993 is The Piano. My #1 for 1997 is Chasing Amy. My #1 for 2003 is Return of the King but in a torn decission with Lost in Translation. Among my number 1 films yearly, films like In the Loop (2009), El Milagro de P. Tinto (1998, probably you even didn’t hear about this one), Mulholland Drive (2001), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Babe (1995), Trainspotting (1996), Pulp Fiction (1994)… ecclectic taste as you see and probably the only big films in the last 20 years I thought were the best would be The Dark Knight (2008), and Return of the King as mentioned before.

    I was playind devil’s advocate. The objective true is Potter is the industry + audiences + critics agreement, and even if “no critic” said it’s an instant classic, they mostly behaved like if it was.

    And come on, the Potter franchise has classic status already. You don’t need the reviews to be a classic. The term “classic” comes from other merits, and they basically are becoming an icon, which Potter and his pals already are.

    If you re-read what I wrote, this time try to understand my incoherent words, you would come to the fact that I’m even doubting it’s obvious that critics can’t forget that after the whole year run, they had Potter in the main positions. Will they skip it? That’s the big question… in similar cases, they didn’t, they assumed they raved an event film, and favored it in front of some smaller ones. That being said, that MT on Shame can help it to get some precursors (Fassbender? Picture?) and make AMPAS overcome its taboos (or not so much taboos, they didn’t have a problem to nominate The Last Tango in Paris).

  83. Tero Heikkinen
    November 21, 2011

    “The term “classic” comes from other merits, and they basically are becoming an icon, which Potter and his pals already are.”

    Icon, yes. Classic? Hmmm… one of the merits should be age, so that we have had enough time to digest its influence. Maybe that’s just me, but in my eyes nothing that is just about a decade old cannot be a classic – yet.

    I am just about seeing films like The Silence of the Lambs and Goodfellas as classics. Pulp Fiction, too – and that is only 17 years old.

  84. Tero Heikkinen
    November 21, 2011

    “The term “classic” comes from other merits, and they basically are becoming an icon, which Potter and his pals already are.”

    Icon, yes. Classic? Hmmm… one of the merits should be age, so that we have had enough time to digest its influence. Maybe that’s just me, but in my eyes nothing that is just about a decade old cannot be a classic – yet.

    I am just about seeing films like The Silence of the Lambs and Goodfellas as classics. Pulp Fiction, too – and that is only 17 years old.

  85. Scott
    November 21, 2011

    For once I have to agree with Tero…the term “classic” comes with age. Personally I’d say pre-1980 to qualify, but at the very least 15 years.

  86. Scott
    November 21, 2011

    For once I have to agree with Tero…the term “classic” comes with age. Personally I’d say pre-1980 to qualify, but at the very least 15 years.

  87. Scott
    November 21, 2011

    “Masterpiece” however is a different story…though age is still valid criteria I think. I’d say these things help define a Masterpiece…

    High Quality Production (essentially a well made film from top to bottom)
    - Universal Appeal (able to resonate with all gender, race, age, etc)
    - Longevity (still widely known and appreciated after 30, 40, 50+ yrs)
    - Rewatchable (probably the least important but certainly helps)

  88. Scott
    November 21, 2011

    “Masterpiece” however is a different story…though age is still valid criteria I think. I’d say these things help define a Masterpiece…

    High Quality Production (essentially a well made film from top to bottom)
    - Universal Appeal (able to resonate with all gender, race, age, etc)
    - Longevity (still widely known and appreciated after 30, 40, 50+ yrs)
    - Rewatchable (probably the least important but certainly helps)

  89. Tero Heikkinen
    November 21, 2011

    Yeah, masterpiece you can call right away. And then there’s this thing called cult classic. You can quite easily see what film is a cult-classic-to-be. Even there some time has to be spent.

  90. Tero Heikkinen
    November 21, 2011

    Yeah, masterpiece you can call right away. And then there’s this thing called cult classic. You can quite easily see what film is a cult-classic-to-be. Even there some time has to be spent.

  91. steve50
    November 21, 2011

    “we can’t really trust many 7-year-olds or very many 77-year-olds to know a good movie when they see one”

    Hell, judging from this weekend’s box office, ages 8 – 76 are fairly suspect, as well.

  92. steve50
    November 21, 2011

    “we can’t really trust many 7-year-olds or very many 77-year-olds to know a good movie when they see one”

    Hell, judging from this weekend’s box office, ages 8 – 76 are fairly suspect, as well.

  93. November 21, 2011

    “Classic” becomes from being a cultural / pop culture milestone, and I think it’s pretty obvious, after a decade of movies, that Harry Potter series have achieved that status quite soon.

    If you want other “young” classics examples, off the top of my head: “The Matrix” (1999), The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-3), should I continue?

  94. November 21, 2011

    “Classic” becomes from being a cultural / pop culture milestone, and I think it’s pretty obvious, after a decade of movies, that Harry Potter series have achieved that status quite soon.

    If you want other “young” classics examples, off the top of my head: “The Matrix” (1999), The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-3), should I continue?

  95. Mattoc
    November 21, 2011

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111121/REVIEWS/111119982/1001

    4 stars from Ebert, however there is no review up at the moment, just a xxx xxx placeholder.

  96. Mattoc
    November 21, 2011

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111121/REVIEWS/111119982/1001

    4 stars from Ebert, however there is no review up at the moment, just a xxx xxx placeholder.

  97. November 21, 2011

    thanks Mattoc! — we’ll keep a close eye on that page.

  98. November 21, 2011

    thanks Mattoc! — we’ll keep a close eye on that page.

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