starring Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz
screenplay by John Logan, based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
directed by Martin Scorsese
by Walter Chaw Channelling Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Robert Zemeckis to numbing effect, the once-vital Martin Scorsese follows his elderly Shutter Island with the honest-to-God borderline-demented Hugo, in which the titular French urchin helps Georges Méliès reclaim his cinematic legacy. It's a shrine to the birth of cinema, blah blah blah, the kind of thing someone as involved as Scorsese has been in film preservation was destined to make, I guess, at least at the exact moment that the ratio of working brain cells gave over the majority. It's heartbreaking to see someone as vital as Scorsese used to be end up in a place as sentimental and treacly as this, resorting to retelling the Pinocchio story with little Hugo (Asa Butterfield) as a clock-fixer (really) whose life's mission is to repair an automaton his dead dad (Jude Law) found in a museum attic--and who dreams one night that...wait for it...he himself is the hollow, broken automaton. I wish I didn't have to go on. Did I mention that it's in 3D? And that it's two-and-a-half hours long but feels like a slow seven or eight? Seriously, Shoah is a breezier watch.