I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one. We had relatives from Bob's side of the family and our Lizzie here with us. On Friday night, in part because I was so curious about it, some of us went to see Hugo, the new Martin Scorsese movie based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, which we've written about here.
The book is a visual feat: the story is told alternately in words and in pictures. Here are two short sequences:
The plot swings around two historical artifacts and the characters' emotions tangled up in them. One is a damaged mechanical man -- an "automaton" -- which Hugo hopes to make work again. The other has to do with the films of a very early movie-maker, Georges Méliès. My recollection of the book was that the suspense surrounding the automaton was primary, and the films secondary. In the movie, the priorities are reversed. Scorsese, a master filmmaker, offers a history of early film -- and some hilarious and fascinating clips from old movies. The history is wonderful, the plot remains mostly true to the book, and true to Selznick's emotionally powerful main character.
I wonder what your father (my brother-in-law), who's so knowledgeable about film, will think of it. John?
It's almost always disappointing to see what the movie industry does to good kids' books, but this time I think Scorsese made a film that's both his own, and one true to the book. My biggest problem with the film was the 3-D. This may be my inner Luddite speaking, but I really didn't see the point of making gears jump out of the screen, snowflakes appear to fall on the audience, or even the crowd scenes be in-your-face. The film itself is enough to pull you in. And it really does.