Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.
Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. He learned to fix clocks and other gadgets from his father and uncle which he puts to use keeping the train station clocks running. The only thing that he has left that connects him to his dead father is an automaton (mechanical man) that doesn't work without a special key. Hugo needs to find the key to unlock the secret he believes it contains. On his adventures, he meets George Melies, a shopkeeper, who works in the train station, and his adventure-seeking god-daughter. Hugo finds that they have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton, and he discovers it unlocks some memories the old man has buried inside regarding his past.Written by
In flashbacks we see Georges Méliès staging his productions with lavishly colored sets and costumes. The real Méliès only used sets, costumes and make-up in grayscale, since colored elements might turn out the wrong shade of gray on black and white film. Many of the prints were then hand tinted in post-production. See more »
When Hugo and Isabelle are watching Safety Last!, the music of the movie is a soundtrack written in 1990. See more »
Georges, you've tried to forget the past for so long, but it has caused you nothing but unhappiness. Maybe it's time you tried to remember.
See more »
There is only one opening credit, the film's title, which does not appear until nearly 15 minutes into the film. See more »
Since its release, I've been confused why Martin Scorsese made this film. I knew very little about it of course, only that it was an adventure movie about an orphan boy living in the walls of a Paris train station. It certainly doesn't sound very Scorsese-like.
However that is merely the framing for what is an ode to the earliest days of cinema, and in particular one of its true pioneers, Georges Melies. With references to "Arrival of a Train" – one of the world's first films by the Lumiere brothers, Melies's "A Trip to the Moon" and many others, this really is a treat for movie fans. Yes on a very basic level it is a children's movie, but really there's far more here for adults. Scorsese wonderfully juxtaposes his most technologically advanced film yet to demonstrate the genius and inventiveness of cinema in its earliest days.
There are fine performances from the two children, as well as Ben Kingsley as Melies and Sasha Baron Cohen as a determined and love struck station inspector. I actually thought that Helen McCrory stole the show as Melies' wife Mama Jeanne.
I never got to see Hugo in 3D, but the blu ray version looks truly sumptuous, with some breath taking imagery of early 20th century Paris. The film does tailor off significantly towards the end, with Scorsese seemingly unsure of what to do with the final act once the children had solved their mystery. What comes before is truly magical though and this film gets a big thumbs up from me.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this