Saturday, January 14, 2012


(Dir. Martin Scorsese, 2011)

Hugo is a family adventure drama by director Martin Scorsese, based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Set in Paris during the early 1930s young Hugo Cabret played by Asa Butterfield who lives alone inside the walls of railway station where he spends his time maintaining the clocks, whilst stealing food and working to repair an automaton that his late father (Jude Law) had found discarded in a museum. Convinced that it contains a message from his father, Hugo goes to desperate lengths stealing mechanical parts to repair the mysterious machine, which eventually gets him into trouble from a sad toy shop owner played by Ben Kingsley.    

If you have a passionate love for cinema you have to go see Hugo and definitely in 3D. I absolutely loved this movie and had such a profound feeling of appreciation while watching it. Scorsese’s love of cinema not only shows but it shines through this film which is such a wonderful and heartfelt tribute to the early pioneers of filmmaking and of course the emotion of silent film ear, which was no doubt a strong influence.

The plot is very well executed that has you hooked with about 10 minutes. It’s well paced with an element of mystery that unfolds piece by piece eventually all coming together nicely for a very satisfying ending. There are subplots involving some of the supporting characters that blend in well and do not distract from the overall story. It appeals to such a wide audience especially children and has a mixed style of humour, some of which is aimed directly at adults which I really enjoyed.  

The use of the 3D effect in Hugo looks amazing and works effectively to enhance the overall enjoyment of the movie; which is actually saying a lot coming from me as I’ve never been a supporter of 3D. I still think its future is limited but Scorsese really has done something special in this case.    

Now I must talk about cinematography and set design. The cinematography in Hugo is stunning to say the least. They way it captures emotion of not only the characters but of the many locations through out the movie is breathtaking. As well as creating a sense of enormity inside the railway station; for instants the many shots of the inner workings inside the station clock tower. It puts the audience in Hugo’s shoes allowing us to see the world from his point of view.  Set design is what you would come to expect from a Scorsese film, unbelievably detailed and rich with character. Production designer Dante Ferretti who has working on a number of Scorsese’s films creates a labyrinthine interior to the railway station that adds to its scale.

As far as performances go you can’t get much better than this. Asa Butterfield is brilliant as Hugo who is such a likeable and inspiring character, but the best in my opinion goes to Ben Kingsley who is just astounding giving one of the most emotional and heart breaking performances I’ve seen in a long time. The rest of the supporting cast are all great especially Sacha Baron Cohen as the ever watchful station inspector.

Hugo is a movie about movies that was a real treat to see on the big screen and a very memorable experience in general. I’m glad I chose an early session to see it because there were only about five people in the audience which made it much more relaxing and free of distraction. - 5 STARS

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