Movie Forty Five
Hugo was probably my second favorite movie of 2011 after Drive. While it seems like a stark departure from his usual movies, Martin Scorsese directs a film for all ages and the result is a fantastic love story to early cinema.
Originally, I was not sold on the idea of Hugo. The trailers I had seen made it seem like the adventures of an orphan living a Paris train station and nothing more. What makes the film so special is the link to the work of pioneer filmmaker, Georges Méliès. The work of Méliès helped shape the films we know today. Hugo portrays some of his work masterfully and it is truly awe-inspiring, even today.
Hugo is about a young boy that lives in a Parisian train station. We learn that Hugo and his father, a watchmaker, were working on fixing an old automaton when his father dies in a fire. His uncle, the train station’s clock keeper, takes Hugo in and shows him how to maintain all of the clocks in the station. As a side project, Hugo steals parts from a toy shop to fix his automaton. He befriends the goddaughter of shop owner, and the mystery of the automaton is revealed.
The cinematic history lesson is the bulk of the second half of the film, and I would wager that most young children that wanted to see the movie would begin to grow bored. While Hugo is made for all ages, I truly believe it has an older audience in mind. For those interested in the movie, I would also recommend reading the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which is heavily illustrated and just as magical as its film counterpart.
Hugo is not like any other Scorsese film yet it has his feel to it (and a cameo in the film). When I saw the movie in 3D in theaters, I was skeptical of the use of 3D but thoroughly enjoyed the effect. While I do not have a 3D home theater setup, I would recommend a 3D viewing for those of you that do. For the rest of us, the regular DVD/Blu-Ray is still fantastic.
I give it 5 A Trip to the Moons out of 5.