If you looked up the word “versatile” in the dictionary, Emily Mortimer’s picture might be next to it: for almost two decades now, she’s amassed a truly amazing range of films, from period pieces (“Elizabeth”) to romantic comedies (“Notting Hill”) to horror sequels (“Scream 3”) to indie dramas (“Lovely & Amazing”) to popcorn adventures (“The Pink Panther”) and so much more. But after playing a role in Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” and following that up with voiceover work as Holly Shiftwell in “Cars 2,” it seems like she’s relishing the chance to reach younger moviegoers, at least evidenced by her work in Scorsese’s family-friendly odyssey “Hugo.”
“This is an amazing opportunity for a younger audience to get to see one of the great filmmakers of our time get to make a movie for them,” Mortimer said while talking to press, promoting the Blu-ray release of “Cars 2.” “And it’s an amazing feeling making a film for younger people; I think they’re the best audiences and in some ways, the most intelligent audiences (laughs). You can’t really pull the wool over their eyes; they know what they like, and they know what works, and so when it does work and when you feel like they’ve enjoyed it and been entertained and gripped by whatever you’re presented them, it’s such a lovely feeling.”
Scorsese brought a work-in-progress version of “Hugo” to the 2011 New York Film Festival last week, where our critic was enchanted at Scorsese's ability to bring together his many influences in a celebration to cinema itself. Mortimer wasn’t able to attend the screening, but she told The Playlist that despite being the first Scorsese movie kids can see, the working experience was relatively similar to that on “Shutter Island.”
“I just loved working with him on both movies,” she said. “What’s amazing is to sort of take a Scorsese film to a younger audience and I think it’s going to work brilliantly. But certainly when I was making it, it didn’t feel like kind of toned-down for kids; it wasn’t sort of Scorsese-light.”
Mortimer explained that the film nevertheless does feature some darker elements, but as a parent herself, she thinks it’s nothing that will frighten children too much. “It was dark and threatening at times, but I think kids are actually able to handle that,” she said. “As they say, it’s a time in our lives when our imaginations are at their richest and fullest. I know from just talking to my little boy that he has all sorts of thoughts; some are marvelous and wonderful and exciting, and some are terrifying and scary and weird.”
“I think it’s great for kids to be able to sort of explore all sides of their imaginations, and do it with Scorsese,” she continued." And up until now, a younger audience has been deprived of the opportunity to get to experience a Scorsese film. It’s an incredibly magical, awe-inspiring movie, and another hymn to the imagination in a way.”
“Cars 2” arrives on DVD and Blu-ray November 1. “Hugo” is being released nationwide in theaters on November 23rd and you can check out the new poster for the the film below via Moviefone.