Review #1: Hugo
If you are like me, when you watched the Oscars a few weeks ago you were sick and tired of hearing “Hugo” this and “Hugo” that! Man it was getting frustrating. I mean it won some good awards: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. But in all honesty I really did not want Hugo to win another Oscar just because I was stupid becuase I read what critics and users said and that most people did not like it. I can tell you now after seeing the film exactly how I felt and why I would or would not recommend it.
In all honesty this movie deserves some credit for those oscars. I really felt that this is one of Martin Scorsese’s best works in terms of direction and visual narrative however the story itself could use some fixing.
The story is about an Orphan boy named Hugo (Asa Butterfield) who works in a train station in France sometime after the events of WWI. Hugo is Orphaned because he lost his dad in a fire at the Musuem he was at and is forced to live with his drunk uncle who leaves him for nearly all of the film. Throughout the movie, Hugo encounters new people and meets a young girl named Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) who introduces him to new things like reading and he introduces her to the movies because her godparents forbid watching them. As the story progresses, we learn the significance of a certain “automiton” that comes into the possession of Hugo by his desceased father. The main plot of the story is to discover the meaning behind the automiton and figure out what his dad was trying to tell him.
That being said there is yet another plot after that but I will not spoil the surprise. Hugo is kind of like two different movies rolled into one. In the first half of the movie we have Hugo trying to discover what the automiton is, and then once we figure it out an halfway through the movie we are given another plot where Hugo tries to figure out what secret Georges Melies (Ben Kingsly) is hiding from the children. Honestly I believed that we would try to discover what the automiton was the entire movie but no it just decides to change it’s mind on what is going on half way through. I mean I can kind of see where Scorsese was going with this movie but really it makes more sense if the two plot points were a lot closer together instead of being two complete turn arounds.
Sacha Baron Cohen is actually the most interesting character in this movie and he plays a character that is mainly in the background: The Train Station Inspector. This is different from what we have seen of him in “Taladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” as well as some of his other things on “The Ali G Show”. He tends to be really strict and uptight about his job and performs his duties to the letter. It is interesting to find out some of the backstory on his character as the movie progresses towards the end and how he ends up at the very last part of the film.
The only other thing I can say about Hugo without repeating myself is that Hugo is good, but more like “eye-candy” good. Don’t get me wrong, the visual effects are incredible and downright awesome if I say so myself, I just think that Scorsese focused on that more and less on the actual story itself. I am not saying that Hugo is a bad movie in any way at all. No. That is not what I am saying. Hugo is only lacking the connection of the story so that it makes sense throughout. Beyond that it is a great film and I think deserves a good place among the other nominated films from this year.
Also be on the lookout for cameo appearances from Christopher Lee (Star Wars Episodes II and III & Lord of the Rings), Frances de la Tour (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), and Jude Law (Contagion, Sherlock Holmes 1&2)
IMDB Score: 7.9
My score: 8.5