Paramount Pictures has released the trailer for Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" (aka "Hugo Cabret") and it has a lot to recommend it beyond the source material of Brian Selznick's bestselling novel about the orphan Hugo who lives in the walls of a Paris train station.
- Kudos for a trailer that is able communicate some sense of 3D while sacrificing none of the pleasure of watching it in 2D.
- Not giving away the full story while communicating a sense of excitement.
- Finding a good home for the overwrought music of Jared Leto's 30 Seconds to Mars, which has an impressive but annoying tendency to make your heart swell until you realize it isn't about anything other than doing just that. In the scope of this story, however, it seems appropriate.
- The lead, Asa Butterfield, is charming, as is Jude Law (though Sacha Baron Cohen's shtick looks as if it could get tiresome).
That said, it's hard to know what we'll see to identify "Hugo" as a Martin Scorsese movie, or at least as we have understood the term. On the one hand, let's not be precious: He directed it, so of course it's his. On the other: Not even "Gangs of New York" or "The Age of Innocence" had trappings -- or expectations -- like these.
And just as "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" boiled down to "Hugo Cabret" and now, simply "Hugo," this is not about authorship; a movie of this scope and genre must be, more than any other that Scorsese has made, about the bottom line.