Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Family.
Runtime: 126 Minutes
Interrupting my marathon to get this review up. From the well-known cinematic genius Martin Scorsese comes a family fantasy film of great whimsy, spirit and innocence that most kid’s films lack today. In addition, here we see a film showing the love for film as we dive into the history of cinema itself. Many of today’s audience will not appreciate or care much for the films of George Mêliés, or the history of cinema, but for the film critic and nerd this is a film to feast on.
Hugo is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home. On our adventure, we meet one of cinema’s first magicians, by the name of George Mêliés.
I hope today’s audiences enjoy this film because two of my friends strongly detested the film, and one claiming it to be one of the worst they have seen. For younger audiences I think the film will be a fascinating story about fantasy and hope, but it is not attention grabbing as animated kids films like “Cars 2” and “Gnomeo & Juliet”,or even half the Disney ones that have been coming out. However, with a solid story with enjoyable characters it proves itself as a marvellous film.
I do not think many people nowadays will appreciate the efforts and creation of cinema in its early days nor care, which may also be a reason for finding the film boring. As a film history freak myself, I was fascinated by seeing small clips of films such as “Safety Last” and “The Kid”, and of course seeing “A Trip to the Moon”. Martin Scorsese, a lover of films and a genius in the industry touched this film with great spirit. It is not every day you have a film that looks at cinema over 100 years ago, which makes this a blissful nod to the silent and experimental days. Although it is not essential to be interested in early cinema and I think the film should still be very enjoyable because of the magical energy it has.
The characters are innocently charming, as is the film as a whole. Hugo is a character who simply has hoped to discover a secret: He is a child with a target and will stop at nothing to achieve it. Sacha Baron Coen makes a terrific supporting character appearance that gives me full respect for him. Although not a fan of his ‘Ali G’ character, I can safely say he is one funny guy and his acting here was amusingly comic. ALl the performances for that mater were great, and as a child actor, Asa Butterfield portrayed Hugo very nicely. I see this young'un having a promising future in the industry.
The film is an adaptation of the novel called, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret", a New York best-seller. Although completely unfamiliar with h book, the source material must have been vibrantly imaginative. The film’s screenplay, written by John Logan and Brian Selznick and a fine job they both did, especially considering Selznick is a newcomer. Logan has previously written screenplays for film’s such as “”Rango” and “Sweeney Todd”, which are also two great films.
Furthermore, the film’s cinematography was beautiful. The film was gorgeously shot and the set pieces war authentically beautiful. Scorsese has used 3D here not as a flashy gimmick of super special effects, but to draw us into the magic. All the glorious sets and even clothing label this film as flamboyantly enchanting. That is a key word for this film, enchanting.
The story is illustriously enchanting and as many reviewers have brought to their attention, it stands out from the other kids’ fantasy films of recent years. The director of “Taxi Driver” and “Goodfellas” at first seems an odd choice for a film of this nature, but as his first family film, he did a superb job. T delightful innocence and impeccable direction make “Hugo” easily one of this film’s best films that is well worth checking out in the cinemas this year (or the start of next year).
My Rating: 8.5/10