Saturday, November 26, 2011


Movie Name: Hugo
Year of Release: 2011
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Emily Mortimer, Ray Winstone, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, Emil Lager, Kevin Eldon 
Genre: Drama, Adventure, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9

After the great "Shutter Island" with Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese changes gears again, and tackles a different style of film in his already fantastic career. "Hugo" is an adaptation of Brian Selznick's book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", and follows the story of young Hugo, who is a lonely orphan in charge of keeping the clocks of the main train station in Paris working (in the 1930s). Hugo's father was a watchmaker and instilled that passion in him. Hugo is also trying to fix an automaton that his father discovered. He believes the machine holds a message from his late father, but it actually leads him down another path. He finds out about George Melies and his young goddaughter. Their encounter changes all their lives.
Martin Scorsese has been a fierce promoter of film preservation for a long time. His encyclopedic knowledge of film history and devotion to classic film has been well known. "Hugo" starts as a story about a young orphan trying to desperately maintain contact with his long lost father, but it slowly becomes an ode to the story of films, the long forgotten masters of silent film, in particular George Melies. The film is touching, heartwarming, beautifully shot and edited, and is a true ode to the joy of filmmaking, to the art of illusion and entertainment. There is an attention to each frame that fills this film with a beauty that only Martin Scorsese can instill within his films. Though the film does have a screenplay that sometimes falls under some cliches (particularly the Sacha Baron Cohen character), the overall experience is one of wonder and beauty. A great film not to be missed.