HUGO (2011 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Hugo—partially based on the true story of filmmaker Georges Méliès—starts slow, but rapidly displays a certain artistic quality that defies traditional film treatment. The film becomes a credit to Georges Méliès’ life and contribution to film, but does it in such a way that audiences may be caught off guard. It is not until the end of the film that one may realize that somehow, someway there has been exposure to something surreal. Director Martin Scorcese reminds an audience of all the reasons  movies are loved. The wonder of seeing people on the rolling screen and the power of being taken places that one cannot always go without the media of film...kudos to Director Martin Scorsese for remembering Georges Méliès’ time in history and bringing that moment in time back to life in such a vibrant, unexpected way. The film embodies the delight one experiences when finding a single violet in an unending field of green grass.

Storyline

Young Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), who is trying to fix an animatron, gets his notebook taken from him by Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) who accuses him of stealing items from his toy shop. Hugo desperately needs the notebook. Georges Méliès gives Hugo a job as janitor in his toy shop in return for the notebook. When Hugo finally finishes the last repair on the animatron, he winds it up and it works, then stops. Hugo finds that the animatron needs a heart-shaped, pointed key. Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), who lives in the same house as Georges Méliès, oddly enough wears a heart-shaped key as a necklace. Hugo shows her the animatron. The key fits the animatron and the animatron begins to draw something, but stops. Then it starts up again and draws a picture representing an old movie, A Trip to The Moon. The animatron also includes the signature of Georges Méliès. Hugo asks Isabelle to help him sneak into the house of Georges Méliès to see how the drawing relates to Georges Méliès.

Additional Thanks

Great Work for Director Martin Scorsese. Thank you to Executive Producers David Crockett, Barbara De Fina, Christi Dembrowski, Georgia Kacandes, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Charles Newirth for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), Uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), Lisette (Emily Mortimer), Monsieur Labisse (Christopher Lee), Mama Jeanne (Helen McCrory), Rene Tabard (Michael Stuhlbarg), Madame Emilie (Frances de la Tour), Monsieur Frick (Richard Griffiths), and Hugo’s Father (Jude Law).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes and Maybe. It’s artistic—a complete bouquet of the finest roses to the film industry’s efforts to improve our lives by providing/allowing/giving the gift of on-demand entertainment for every person, not just the select few. Do a little research on Director Georges Méliès before you go to get the most from this inspiring film.

Ben Meyers

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