The Artist struck me as a Movie at it's core about Hollywood ego, but without the Filmmakers really understanding that or conveying it a bit more honestly. It's characters are wrapped up in cozy sentimentality, but I couldn't quite care about them. Instead I was left a bit cold, watching a Movie that constantly relies on it's gimmick of a Silent Film format. That's not a terrible notion mind you, it's just not enough for me to enjoy. I could only imagine what someone like Alfred Hitchcock would think about a Movie about Actors and their ego!
Hugo is Martin Scorsese's bid at a Family Film. But hey, since this is Scorsese, that just isn't enough. And that's fine. Except, the Movie, with all of it's elaborate set pieces, somehow doesn't inspire a lot of wonder. The Film gets lost in it's second half as it's revealed all along to not really be a Kid's Film after all, but rather a Movie that is a morality tale about Film preservation and Filmmakers who don't adapt to the changing times. Although Scorsese's heart is in the right place, the fact remains if I had seen this Movie as a kid, I would have been bored or more likely, ambivalent. Plus, what was up with everyone being British? Hugo was set in Paris. C'est la vie...
There have been plenty of better Movies about Movies, and here are 10 of my Favorites:
Boogie Nights (1997)
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Day for Night (1973)
Cecil B. Demented (2000)
Living in Oblivion (1995)
Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
Ed Wood (1994)
Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)