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"The characters marvel in wonder at what is happening around them, but there's no emotional content to it -- there's nothing to make the audience feel connected to the movie. The feel is very cold and stale.This is an attempt by a 70-year old man, who has spent his life making violent and serious films, to capture childhood whimsy, but it doesn't work."
I wasn't impressed. I thought the script was a total mess and lacked sense and pace and as much as I appreciate Marty's love for classic and silent cinema (me too) the form didn't match the content at all. Why make a film about wonderful old handmade, ingenious and painstakingly hand tinted films with a film made almost entirely within a computer and in 3D? When we got to see the beautiful simplicity of the silent movie sections it put everything Scorsese had done up to that point to shame for their sheer charm and wonder. Great if you've never seen any Melies, or Keaton or DW Griffith, but frankly I'd rather watch them again than over-emoting moppets and underwritten parts for British character actors stumbling around a highly fanciful CGI Paris.
I really enjoyed some aspects of this movie: cinematography, art direction, soundtrack, and above all other things its love for movie making and for that special place movies take us to. But I thought it had no rhythm, no punctuation, the story didn't flow in a natural way. It was really quite a strange feeling, I must say. Even though the actors were quite good it was as if there was an unnatural delay between their responses to one another and towards what happened around them. And this lack of coherence sometimes brought up a sense of emptiness regarding the plot and characters. I thought it's script was really flawed and for me that's what turned a film that could very well be a fascinating voyage about the love for the art of movies into something quite weak. What a waste of good ideas...
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #81 in National Board of Review - Best Film
This movie ranks #114 in Academy Award Best Cinematography
This movie ranks #144 in The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #492 in Academy Award Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #699 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List