Monday, November 28, 2011


Directed by Martin Scorsese, GK Films, 2011. Starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Lee, Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Kingsley.

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family.

Question: What gives you purpose and makes you feel like you fit into the world? Well, we all have something, at least we should. Think about it.

This is the message at the heart of Hugo and I think a pretty darn good one. It shouldn't matter if you are 12 or 72 years-old, we all need to feel like we belong, someplace where we know we serve a purpose or what's the meaning of it all. Yes, it's a pretty deep, philosophical thought for a movie that I thought was geared towards kids primarily. However, my kids enjoyed the movie and I hope somewhere deep inside they understood what the movie was trying to convey.

The story begins with a boy, an orphan, who lives in a train station in Paris in the 1930's. You find out why he is there with a few flashbacks but really the story revolves around another story line which is revealed much later in the film. The boy's name is Hugo and his adventure is to find his purpose or to make sure his purpose is real, but how he goes about that will remain a mystery in this review.

There was a great surprise, well for me at least, as Hugo's story unfolded. I really want to say more but, as usual, don't want to spoil it for you. However, on the whole I found the storytelling to be a bit on the dull side. Not sure what happened with it but Hugo ran slow. Even with the part of the story line I really liked, it didn't suck me in as I think it could have.

The movie was in 3D and the beginning was absolutely stunning with its effects. When the adventure part of this story was front and center the 3D was awesome. However, the majority of the movie was more of a drama and the 3D lost its luster; and soon I found it annoying to have to wear the glasses. I am not a huge fan of 3D movies, by the way, so for you fans out there I am positive you will enjoy that part of the movie.

On a bright note: The boy who played Hugo was delightful, and he has the bluest eyes I have ever seen on a human being. I almost think they may have been digitally enhanced. Anyway, he did a great job on the whole, even though there were parts where the film-makers showed children behaving more like adults than children, and that happened here. I still think he did a good job as the lead character of a Scorsese film.

Most children should enjoy this film and I recommend you take them to see Hugo. For adults, sadly, this was not one of Scorsese greatest films.

My favorite part: The discovery of the message in the film. There is this great scene, on a Paris bridge with Notre Dame in the background, between the 2 children. A great line was spoken by Hugo. A great line!

My least favorite: Sacha Baron Cohen, I am afraid to say. His character was too much of a caricature for me.

Rating: PG
Length: 127 minutes

Review: 6 out of 10

Click on film poster below to watch instantly:

Artwork courtesy of IMDb - no copyright infringement intended

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