Hugo (2011)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: John Logan
Based on: Brian Selznick‘s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, Jude Law

After the death of his father (Jude Law), Hugo (Asa Butterfield) started to live in Paris’ Central Station, winding the clocks and trying to rebuild an automaton he and his father were working on. When he tries to steal some cogs from Papa George (Ben Kingsley), he gets caught and George takes the notebook in which Hugo’s father detailed the plans for the automaton. So Hugo enlists Papa George’s ward Isabelle (Chloe Moretz) to get it back. But what is George’s connection to the automaton in the first place?

Hugo is a beautiful, engaging and very entertaining. Plus, it’s basically a love letter to George Méliès – and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that. I really enjoyed every minute of it.

We all know that Scorsese is really good at what he does (though making a kids’ movie is surely a new challenge even for him) and with the cast they have assembled, there’s nothing much that can go wrong. The biggest risk was definitely the 3D, which is so often so crappy. But the 3D is mostly pretty good (there are a few moments where it isn’t though, like during the speech George gives at the end – that hurt) and the rest is even better than I thought it would be.

First of all, 3D or no 3D, the movie looks wonderful. The production design, the costumes, sets, everything is perfect, equal parts magical and evoking the period.

I loved how they incorporated George Méliès’ work. It really is a declaration of love to him and his work and blends easily into the narrative.

And the cast, oh the cast! Not only are Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz great, but all the supporting actors and the wonderful characters inside that trainstation immediately found their way into my heart. Though nobody as much as Sacha Baron Cohen and his Station Inspector. Man, that guy can act! And that character was a brilliant mixture of flaws and vulnerabilities and harshness and heart. [I have to admit that it’s mostly due this character that I really want to read the book.]

Summarising: wonderful and magic and beautiful. Pretty much perfect.

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