Now before you think this is going to be some sort of character assassination post … I personally am a fan of this talented young actress. I thought she stole the show in the movie Kick-Ass, a role that deservedly launched her to stardom. Yet the next thing I saw her in was a remake of the excellent Swedish vampire flick ‘Let The Right One In’.
Now the problem I have with such role choices she seems to be making (or her agent is) is that following a relatively daring turn in Kick-Ass the logical next step is to turn to horror roles? Erm, why? In the original movie they chose a pale, gothic looking actress in the form of Lina Leandersson (right) and it was perfect. Why was Moretz wrong for the remake? She’s too cute and pretty to believably come off as a vampire that’s hundreds of years old! No I say! That and many other mistakes the questionable retitled ‘Let Me In’ made. Yet for some reason her agent (or herself) repeated this casting error with the recent remake of ‘Carrie’.
I haven’t actually seen this movie although I plan to, but again she’s replacing an actress (Sissy Spacek – right) who was cast for her plain, wall-flower look, and again Moretz is too pretty for the role! This is meant to be a bullied, picked on character … and I imagine Moretz would be fairly popular in school! I may be wrong about this but it made me immediately doubt the credibility of the performance and the subsequent reviews seem to support my theory.
Now look at her in a movie like Hugo, perfect … quirky, cute and likable – even returning to Kick-Ass 2 will undoubtedly work I’d imagine (another one of my to-watch movies). So I sincerely hope that in the future Chloe Grace Moretz starts going after roles that suit her look and style, not dark horror roles better suited to dark, gothic actresses … perhaps its cool she has such diverse career opportunities, and she has the talent, is funny, charming and deserves to do well … just perhaps leave the remakes alone unless you’re really right for the character, huh?
Few director’s have the encyclopaedic knowledge of cinema that Martin Scorsese does. He’s a living and breathing movie historian, and the perfect choice to direct the adaptation of a children’s book that pays homage to the godfather of cinema, Georges Méliès .. a man who pioneered a wealth of camera techniques and special effects, delivering over 500 movies that pushed the definition of what was possible on film. The story here follows a young orphan boy named Hugo (Asa Butterfield), who following the death of his father (Jude Law), is given the responsibility of looking after all the clocks in a grand Parisian train station. Yet when his father leaves him a mechanical automaton, a quest to discover the secret of the device leads to a magnificent discovery.
This is a beautifully told, gently-paced fantasy, in the grand style of Charles Dickens and Frank Capra, with a cast of quality actors and keen attention to detail from the brilliant Martin Scorsese. Here he has created a fine example of the family adventure tale, somewhat a departure for a man better known for his violent gangster movies – but nails it with the panache and expertise you would expect from one of the best in the business. Supporting cast all add a great deal to proceedings, especially the increasingly charming Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) and also a diverting, stand-out turn from Sasha Baron Cohen as a bumbling station guard. A special mention must also go to Ben Kingsley, excellently conflicted as Georges Méliès, bringing real class to the whole story. The young actor playing Hugo is good also, with his wide-eyed innocence capturing the feel of characters like Oliver Twist, which I’m guessing was the point. It is also probably one of the best looking movies I have ever seen, with the Paris-set location and a wealth of stunning effects shots all creating a magical atmosphere. My only real gripe is that the movie does drag its heals a bit in places, and it seems to conclude about three times – but these are very small things.
Overall though this is Scorsese breaking free of his more gritty, crime thriller routs and proving himself a master film maker, whatever the subject. Ironic when you consider this is about the rediscovery of a master film maker. A classic example of a director perfectly matched with material, and the kind of movie that reminds you why you love cinema. Essential.
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