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Good tidings, people. David Elliott is fond of Hugo -- not as fond as Mr. Marks perhaps, but then, it's entirely possible that director Martin Scorsese himself is not as fond of Hugo as Mr. Marks. I kid, I kid. Sample sentences: "I love the love that Scorsese has poured into this, enshrining the distant roots of his life’s passion. But 3-D, despite some fine effects, often seems a Magic Marker for the unimaginative (the vintage silent movies eclipse it), and the story is never quite up to the director’s devotion."

Moving on to Le Havre: "Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki is a fun-ish director. His comedies of serious intent have the puzzled, bemused concentration of a visitor from another planet. The visitor seems more at home now, and Kaurismäki’s wry gaze has become more affirming, less punked out." See? Good tidings. The Women on the 6th Floor is "about a small man breaking free" - poor women, even when they make it into the title, the film is about a man. But still, three stars.

And Young Goethe in Love? "This is gemütlich-kitsch of strong pedigree." Gemutlicch-kitsch! Plus, "the tonic and Teutonic charms of Miriam Stein as Charlotte. She is a poet’s dream in flesh, with elements of Debra Winger and Sean Young in their prime." Wunderbar!

In the capsules: wonder of wonders, Mr. Marks liked Arthur Christmas.

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