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Archive for the ‘Hugo’ Category

Hugo – review


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Hugo is the new film from Martin Scorsese and is about a young boy who lives alone in a Paris railway station in the 1930’s.  His father (Jude Law) was killed in a freak fire accident, and Hugo was sent to live with his uncle who treated him poorly and made him work all day, keeping him out of school.  Hugo decided to run away in order to complete a project his father and him were working on before his death.  His father was a clock maker, and came across a broken automaton, a small gear shifting robot.  Hugo is left to complete the restoration, but is in search of a heart shaped key that needs to be inserted in the back of the automaton’s neck in order to get it to run, and complete what he and his father started. 

Hugo spends his days trying to find certain pieces for the automaton and find the key, all while trying to hide from Inspector Gustav (Sasha Baron Cohen), who hunts down truant boys and sends them to the orphanage.  He soon runs in to Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz, Let Me In), who is the daughter of a toy shop owner, Papa Gorges (Ben Kingsley).  Papa Gorges is annoyed by the young boy who he labels a thief and a liar, for trying to steal toy pieces from him.  Isabelle, however, is intrigued by Hugo’s story, and she sets out to help him fix the automaton.

What occurs is a very peculiar adventure in which Hugo and Isabelle come across all sorts of characters who aid in their quest, and who also attempt to stop them.  Isabelle and Hugo begin to find out about each other as well.  They are two children from two completely different backgrounds, but in their own way they are both lost.The film is one big mystery that continues to unravel piece by piece, and it seems almost every character may have a secret.

There is this underlying theme of the invention of film, and a love for film from its infancy.  The film itself does pay homage to many of the early silent classics, and Sasha Baron Cohen actually pulls off some pretty good Chaplin-esque scenes as well.  It’s one giant love letter to the early creators of movies.

Hugo is easily the best looking film of the year.  The sets are beautifully designed, and remind me a lot of the work of French director Jean Pierre Jeunet.  I also say that because at times the film feels like a Jeunet knock off with little vignettes of other characters falling in love on the sidelines.  If this doesn’t win an Oscar for Art Direction I’ll be shocked.  Scorcese always knows how to make a great looking film, and he does that here, and he entertains as well.

Grade:  B