If ever the movie gods were to smile on an adaptation, it would be Scorsese's take on Selznick's bestselling book, a valentine to the cinematic artists whose work the filmmaker has toiled so tirelessly to champion and preserve.
Yes, "Hugo'' is a family film and, yes, your children and your inner child stand to be enraptured, but the family Scorsese really made this for is the 100-year-old tribe of watchers in the dark.
"Come and dream with me," a filmmaker pleads in Martin Scorsese's exquisite fantasy "Hugo," offering an invitation that's clearly extended from Scorsese himself.
Thematic potency and cinematic virtuosity -- the production was designed by Dante Ferretti and photographed by Robert Richardson -- can't conceal a deadly inertness at the film's core.
In Hugo, the hero has a terrifying dream, perhaps an unconscious recollection of that event. Reality, filmed illusion, and dreams are so intertwined that only an artist, playing merrily with echoes, can sort them into a scheme of delight.
"Hugo" is unlike any other film Martin Scorsese has ever made, and yet possibly the closest to his heart: a big-budget, family epic in 3-D, and in some ways, a mirror of his own life.
A state-of-the-art affair, an epic adaptation of Selznick's pretty-epic-itself tome, full of dazzling visuals and rapturous tributes to Melies and the magic of movies.
What Scorsese has really made is a beautifully crafted love letter to movies, the passion of his life. What sounded like an odd pairing winds up being a perfect fit.