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Review: Hugo (2011)

Hugo: I went to see it as an afterthought without knowing much besides the trailer and the fact it was nominated for a boat load of Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for Martin Scorsese. But besides that, I was at the mercy of the marketing team. For all I knew, it like a live action Polar Express of sorts. Well marketing team, you did a horrible job.

Depending on how much of the movie you want spoiled, a description for Hugo can go many ways. For your sake I’ll try best to describe without getting any really big spoilers in there. Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is an orphan who lives in the clocktower of a train station in Paris in the 1930’s. Hugo’s father (Jude Law) left him a robot like automaton, who, when fully functioning, is able to write and draw. However, although the trailer might lead you to think that Hugo’s big plot point is fixing this shiny metal man, it’s but a minor device used in the movie. The real plot is Hugo and his new friend Isabelle (Chloe Moretz) and her guardians and finding your place in the world. Really finding what you love to do and how that fits in to your purpose in the world. Sound like a broad definition? Well that’s the type of movie Hugo is. But Scorsese works with it, and does so masterfully.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure you would hate this film if you don’t have at least a basic understanding of the history of film. It’s slow moving at times and gets a tad boring at its somewhat long running time. BUT! If you, like me, love the history of movies, especially the early silent’s and the dream-like films of Georges Méliès, you will absolutely adore Hugo, as I did. There is no way you can hate on the acting (even Sacha Baron Cohen plays a character with more than one layer!), and some performances (Chloe Moretz) make you look forward to the future careers of these bright stars. Once again, I find myself wanting to move to Paris with a time machine in hand!

My Rating: A

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