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I am all for honoring Martin Scorsese. His oeuvre certainly makes him one of the great living film makers – and one of the greatest of all times. What is funny about his career is that he starts being appreciated for his movies since he makes mediocre films, at least if you take his older work in comparison. It looks as if the Academy awarding Oscars in particular remembers past mistakes – and does anything not to repeat these mistakes. Let’s call it the Hitchcock  effect: suddenly you realize that you just missed out on one of the style-defining artists, and there is no way of taking it back. Hence, Scorsese started receiving awards around the time of “The Departed”, and it has become something like a bad habit. The reason for the great love of “Hugo” is a contextual one, the film being a celebration of the history of cinema, one of Scorsese’s great themes parallel to his feature film career. The film makers in the Academy, the film journalists, the movie buffs love feeling treated as insiders, love the not very subtly hints to movie history, love being confronted with Ben Kingsley standing in for Georges Melies, so they can tell their friends “you know, he really existed!”.

A surprisingly dull experience altogether, however, despite some nice camera tracking shots and certainly pretty production design. Sigh… I will now watch GoodFellas again to cleanse my system and re0establish my Scorsese admiration.

One Comment

  1. Sorry to see you didn’t enjoy Hugo, this was my favorite film of the year, and not for the snobby recognition of George Melies. But yes, this is very different from Scorsese’s other films and his die hard fans may be disappointed. I like your Hitchcock effect idea. The Academy knows they’re never going to live down hardly recognizing Hitchcock, no matter how much they try to make up for it now with Scorsese’s latest work.

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