(2011) ★★★

Film4: Sunday 17 May, 6.30pm

With a bravura opening shot enough to make Orson Welles weep, the camera swoops and sweeps us deep into the digital clockwork world of orphan Asa Butterfield, living by his wits inside the main Paris railway station in 1931. His only companion is a broken automaton. Until he crosses paths with grumpy toy shop manager Ben Kingsley and sisterly Chloë Grace Moretz, a kindred spirit. Martin Scorsese’s 3D children’s film is, typically, a work at once obsessive and affectionate, its enclosed world as phony and fabulous as the ones conjured by Welles with Citizen Kane and by the Coen brothers in The Hudsucker Proxy. Yet for all the talk of adventure and the invention of dreams, it’s not actually much fun. Surprising, for a film scripted by Rango writer John Logan. The names of Jules Verne and Georges Méliès are bandied about, but only to belabour the story’s heavyhanded points: reading is good, film preservation vital. This isn’t a trip to the moon. It’s a ticket to a museum.

Certificate: U
Duration: 126min

Other Showings Time & Date
Film4 Thursday, 21 May at 6:30PM