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‘Hugo’ shows us the softer side of Scorsese

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Jason Wallis

Posted: Friday, December 9, 2011 7:41 am

Just one review this week, as I didn’t make it to “My Week with Marilyn,” playing in limited release. A look at that will come next week, along with reviews of the wide releases “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and, time permitting, “The Sitter.” The studios’ insistence on conducting a take-no-prisoners December blitz with their prestige pictures has left things a tad crowded for the next few weeks, but I’ll do what I can…

For the past 40 years, Martin Scorsese has been one of the world’s most remarkably consistent film artists. Whereas most of Scorsese’s contemporaries — names like William Friedkin, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Milos Forman — have become irrelevant in the constantly evolving world of modern Hollywood, Scorsese stands alone as the one New Hollywood pioneer who today remains every bit as vital as he was back in the day. (An exception might be Steven Spielberg, but that’s a discussion for another time.) A master of form and tone, Scorsese, at this point, must be considered the greatest filmmaker to ever live. The inherent absurdity of picking one director as “the greatest” is not lost on me, but surely no other filmmaker has contributed so much to so many genres over so many years, without a single failure. His role as the world’s leading advocate of film preservation, too, helps cement his status as the grand sage of world cinema.

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