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This Thanksgiving Martin Scorsese is bringing his passion for the movies and encyclopedic knowledge of film history to a very unlikely place: a kid's movie. With Hugo, an adaptation of the children's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Scorsese tells a story that at first is a romp through the streets and central train station of Paris in the early 1930s, but then runs up directly into early film history when our hero Hugo (Asa Butterfield) starts unraveling a mystery left by his now-dead father.
How it involves film history is a surprise better left for finding out in the film itself, which combines Scorsese's typically gorgeous cinematography with gangbusters 3D technology that, as I said when I reviewed an early version of the film at the New York Film Festival, might be the best live-action use of 3D ever. The movie is charming and thoroughly entertaining on its own, but the 3D adds an extra sparkle, used judiciously and spectacularly by Scorsese and his team, feeling less like a gimmick than a natural extension of the movie magic that's kept the art form alive for more than a decade.
With all that in mind, check out an exclusive clip from Hugo that we're debuting below. If you know your film history, you may get a hint at how the movie ties into one of the great early filmmakers near the end of it. Otherwise you can enjoy the magical, slightly surreal sight of what happens when Chloe Moretz's Isabelle digs up her Uncle Georges' (Ben Kingsley) case full of old drawings. As you can tell at the end, he's not at all happy about her snooping.
Now imagine what all that swirling paper would look like in 3D-- really good, Scorsese 3D, that is. Hugo comes to theaters next Wednesday, November 23, and if you're at all interested in it, you definitely owe it to yourself to see it on the big screen. Trust me: it's what Uncle Georges would want.