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Hugo


Hugo_Poster

If I’ve learned anything from writing these reviews for the last 18 months or so, it’s that movies are a great way to tell a story. Each and every one is unique, even if the story being told has been tried many times. One thing most films don’t touch on, though, is the effect movies have on our imaginations. Hugo brings the onset of the film era back into the limelight and reminds us not to take these marvelous pieces of art for granted.

Grade:

A-

Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is an orphan living in a train station in 1930s Paris trying to unravel a message his father left him through an automaton. He is aided in this mission by Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz), a precocious young girl living with Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley), who himself is hiding behind an air of secrecy.

Hugo-1

Hugo has trouble finding its main identity at times, which keeps the movie interesting, but also complicates the essence of the film. With stunning imagery and a deep cast—also boasting Sacha Baron Cohen in a more likable role, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, and Christopher Lee—Hugo moves swiftly from a boy trying to fit into a world that had forgotten him to a shrine of cinematic wonderment.

For Hugo, movies hold a special place in his heart as they conjure memories of his beloved father (played by Jude Law). As the film progresses, the audience is reminded of the awe and genuine amazement upon first viewing movies as adolescents. Once this thematic shift happens, Hugo’s quest becomes a bit of a side story. Martin Scorsese instead focuses on how much the work of the Lumiere brothers has impacted his life and the lives of so many others.

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Since Butterfield is solid in his role and Kinglsey is amazing as usual, the film is not harmed by this shift in focus. Apart from my own hesitancy to like Moretz, I don’t think there is much inherently wrong with Hugo. The amusing background characters and vivid aesthetic keep your senses on edge during the lulls in plot and you remain engaged and intrigued throughout. I’d say it’s certainly worth a viewing.

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