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Trailer Watch: Scorsese's Magical Hugo Conjures Beloved Family Classics

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange and Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 15, 2011 at 4:38AM

Brian Selznick, the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a 2007 genre-bending children’s book, was inspired by turn of the 20th-century film pioneer Georges Méliès. Perhaps that's why Selznick’s book seems to translate so easily to the screen.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Brian Selznick, the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a 2007 genre-bending children’s book, was inspired by turn of the 20th-century film pioneer Georges Méliès. Perhaps that's why Selznick’s book seems to translate so easily to the screen.

The trailer for the Martin Scorsese’s recently retitled film adaptation, Hugo is out (it's posted below) and of course the visuals dazzle. The color palette, both luminescent and dreary, captures a shimmering hint of magic in turn-of-the-century industrial Paris. Paramount will release Scorsese's first venture into 3-D, which stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Jude Law and Emily Mortimer, on Thanksgiving, November 23, 2011.

Thompson on Hollywood

However, Scorsese is not your usual family-audience filmmaker. A close watch of this trailer reveals pieced-together scenes from other beloved children’s classics. When the young heroine declares that the magical world is “like Neverland and Oz and Treasure Island all wrapped into one,” she might describe the movie as well. A mild confrontation on a train platform with a dark-haired preteen misfit seems lifted from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; period costumes conjure up Mary Poppins; and a gaggle of sea creatures might have lost their way from The Little Mermaid.

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Video, First Look, Production , Martin Scorsese, Period, Fantasy, Paramount/Vantage/Insurge/CBS, Trailers, Digital Future, Art Direction


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.