If it's crap ... We'll tell you
My journey to watch all the great films from 2011 that I missed out on continues! And I was particularly ashamed that I missed out on Martin Scorsese's highly acclaimed "Hugo", which was never released in our local cinema. So finally, last week it got released here in Ireland on Blu ray and DVD, and I was able to check it out tonight.
The story follows a young boy named Hugo (Asa Butterfield), who is left to keep the clocks working at a Paris train station after his father dies in a fire. All that he salvaged from their home was an automaton, which he is feverishly trying to repair and complete his and his father’s dream of seeing it work once again. We follow his day-to-day errands within the station, and his interactions with a toy shop owner (Ben Kingsley) who takes a mysterious and strong dislike to Hugo, and the tasks he is taking on.
Sadly, going any bit beyond that would ruin the very many surprises this film holds secret, but I will need to discuss on the movie's central idea. So, SPOILERS. Essentially, Scorsese created this as a love letter to the golden age of Hollywood, and the founding fathers of what we all know as motion film. And it is all told with such beauty, artistry, and praise, that is just leaves you breathless as everything unfolds in front of your eyes. This may appear on front as a kid's film, but it goes so far beyond that, while still holding a mystery and wonder that the young audience will just love as much as the movie fans.
The opening third of the film has a very specific theme and almost quietness to it, the camerawork makes the absolute most of the scenes, but you are given plenty time to absorb the details and intricate settings. The train station itself is just marvellous, bustling with small stories, characters, and an activity that really draws you in. Asa gives a great performance here, being someone who has read the book this is based on, he carries a lot of the personality from the pages onto the screen, while giving it a sense of believability that makes you love the story all the more. Chloe Moretz, who is introduced later in the story, brings a lot of energy and intelligence too, any time these two are on the screen really made me smile.
And now to the SPOILER, yes, this is in essence a tribute to one of the definite film-makers from the earliest days of film. The final half of the story focuses primarily on this, and it just blew my mind away at how effortlessly it is depicted to the audience. Some scenes have a wonder to them I never thought could have been caught on camera, the effects set this all alight. It reminds you of why you fell in love with films in the first place, why the likes of Disney and Pixar captivated you from such an early age - because they are our waking dreams. They take us on journeys and adventures that would otherwise never be possible, every frame in a reel has that magic to it, and Scorsese tells this to us perfectly.
there's so much more here to enjoy, from the great cast, the gorgeous effects and settings, the score, and just how heavy it hits your heart as it progresses. I absolutely loved this film, and once again, I must adjust my "Best of" list for 2011. If you are in any way a fan of film, this is something you cannot afford to miss out on; everything in Hugo is fantastical, elegant, and so wonderfully immersive. No other rating for it, it's a Better than Sex, and a movie that I will certainly enjoy for as long as I love cinema.
Thanks for reading! ^__^