Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Hugo (♦♦♦)

Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is an orphan who lives in the upper, forgotten apartments of Paris’ train station. Hugo steals food from the station’s shops in his spare time, but his job is keeping the clocks of the station in working order. Hugo collects pieces of broken machinery to fix an automaton that was a present from his deceased father. In his quest to fix the broken machine, he’ll find an ally in Isabelle (Chloe Moretz), the toy maker’s goddaughter. Together Hugo and Isabelle will discover a secret involving Isabelle’s godfather, one that has made him sad for years.

It has been repeated ad nauseum that this movie is an homage to old cinema, to the beginnings of cinema, that is. I must say it is a very beautiful one. It is the reason why we love movies: to live adventures enacted by others and go places that otherwise we couldn’t go, like the moon.

The movie is well directed, as we have come to expect from Martin Scorsese, stepping out of his comfort zone to make a marvelous family film. The movie is well acted also by Ben Kingsley as George Mailes, Sacha Baron Cohen as the villainous Monsieur Inspector, Martin Scorsese in a brief cameo appearance and Emily Mortimer as Mademoiselle Lisette.

Despite the prettiness surrounding the film, I couldn’t help but notice that its message was a little preachy: we must preserve old films for future generations, and that’s a work in which Martin Scorsese has been deeply involved. Yet, the message is not that heavy because the movie is also about fixing things, like broken dreams and helping a forgotten filmmaker to find his place in the world.