Because Martin Scorsese has talked openly about taking some studio assignments in order to maintain the clout he needs to make his passion projects, the idea has developed over the years that some Scorsese pictures are “impersonal”—a “one for them” that Scorsese doesn’t really give his full attention. And yet many of those movies that cinephiles don’t rank as peak Scorsese—movies like The Color Of Money and The Aviator—look better in retrospect, revealing over time how deeply they’re stamped not just with the director’s visual flair but also his persistent fascination with what makes a person exceptional. That’s definitely the case with 2011’s Hugo, a box-office disappointment that suffered from mis-marketing and the general impression that it was a good film that lacked Scorsese’s particular spark of genius. Yet even leaving aside Scorsese’s seamless integration of 3-D into his fluid, dynamic aesthetic—a mastery of the form that even 3-D zealot James Cameron has hailed as the best he’s ever seen—there’s an awful lot of the director in his and screenwriter John Logan’s adaptation of Brian Selznick’s illustrated novel The Invention Of Hugo Cabret. From the story of a lonely kid who finds a community and a mission when begins to study cinema to the whole notion of using mechanical contraptions to record ideas, Hugo is a passionate, thoughtful love letter to movies. It airs on Epix tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern.
November 24, 2014 Cable Pick Of The Day