Hugo Movie Review
Martin Scorsese isn’t known for directing family-friendly films. In fact, if it doesn’t have the mob, gangsters, violence or Leonardo Dicaprio, he usually isn’t interested. Well, he’s finally done a 180 with his new movie “Hugo”, and he might have created one of his best films yet. I was completely unfamiliar with the source material for this film, a book by the name of “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”, and really didn’t know what the story was about except for the fact that there was a clockwork boy, two real children and Ben Kingsley in it. What I discovered after viewing is one of the most creative, artistic, and charming homage films that I have ever seen.
As the film begins, we meet the movie’s namesake Hugo Cabret, played brilliantly by Asa Butterfield. Hugo is an orphan who goes to live with his uncle in a Paris train station. His uncle works at the station and maintains all of the clocks throughout the premises. Hugo has learned how to fix clocks and other mechanical items from his father and when the father dies he leaves Hugo with a broken automaton that Hugo continues to try and fix so as to still remember his father. At first glance, you begin to think the entire film will be about Hugo, the automaton and their adventures, until Hugo meets up with a strange and mean man running a toy shop, played expertly by Ben Kingsley. Hugo needs some tools to help to fix his automaton and decides to steal them from the toy shop owner until he is caught by the owner and must work off his debt to him by working in the store. While working in the store, Hugo befriends the toy owners ward Isabelle, played charmingly by Chloe Grace Moretz. Through their friendship he discovers that the toy owner is in fact the film maker Georges Melies, the iconic director of many silent films including the famous “A Trip to the Moon” where a space capsule hits the moon in the eye. As Hugo learns more about Mr. Melies, they begin to inspire each other and Hugo learns that Mr. Melies actually built the automaton that Hugo has been trying to fix. We get a brief history of the directing and acting career of Georges Melies and his wife and why they stopped making their fantastical movies.
I got the impression the Martin Scorsese was very inspired by the works of Georges Melies. Every detail is so perfectly and lovingly brought to life in every aspect of this movie. The acting is absolutely superb and the 3D helped me to feel like an extra on the set. I would hope that Mr. Scorsese will continue to make films like this one that would appeal to the entire family. This is absolutely one of the best films I’ve seen this year and I left the theater with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. The film really is an inspiration and speaks to everyone to never let go of your dreams and what you love to do. I really hope that more people go out to see this film so that more films of this kind can be made. We have enough of the brainless kid films that do nothing but provide a few laughs, and is forgettable five minutes after viewing it. Do yourself a favor and start the new year with an inspirational film by one of our most gifted movie makers.
J.Chandler: Grade A