Director Martin Scorsese’s ravishing dazzlement of hyperrealism and subjective perspectives is a tribute to the history of cinema but also an example of what Paris inspires in directors. Not since Jean-Piere Jeunet’s Amélie and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge has such a celebratory style broken through all limits of physical reality to deliver cinematic ecstasy.
The constantly roving camera and rush of sounds deliver broad strokes of storytelling that overwhelm the senses. Ultra-processed, super-sharp images are highly detailed and contrasted so that textures and patterns leap out and every cobblestone is individuated. Monochromatic backgrounds are penetrated by bursts of hyper-rich primaries and figures and faces have real dimension.
The 7.1-channel soundtrack immerses you in Montparnasse Station’s whistles, hisses, and bumps from the rear and clacking clockwork cogs from the surrounds. Howard Shore’s accordion-based score comes at you from all sides, instruments so well separated into each channel it’s as if they were playing in different parts of your brain.
The film's technical brilliance (it won Oscars for Art Direction, Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects) pays off in home theater happiness.
Video: 1.85:1. Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1. Extras: five featurettes: Shoot the Moon, The Cinemagician: Georges Méliès, The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo, Big Effects — Small Scale, Sacha Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime; DVD and UltraViolet Digital Copy for streaming/downloading. Studio: Paramount.