{4.5/5} “Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do… Maybe it’s the same with people. If you lose your purpose… it’s like you’re broken.”

Hugo, released in 2011

Hugo (Asa Butterfield) learned all about clocks and other things that work with gears from his father (Jude Law). But his father died and now he lives in a secret part of a Paris train station. His prized possession is an automaton, a mechanical man that’s supposed to be able to write — he’s been trying to fix it for a long time.

Hugo has to steal in order to eat and he also has to steal in order to get parts to fix his automaton. He’s stolen one too many times from one shopkeeper in the train station (Ben Kingsley) and the shopkeeper demands that he work for him in order to earn back his notebook (with drawings by his father). Hugo is hiding from the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) who would send him to an orphanage if he caught him. Hugo has found one new friend, Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), who happens to be the shopkeeper’s goddaughter. Isabelle introduces him to a bookseller (Christopher Lee) who allows her to borrow books from his store.

The movie takes place in the 1930s. It’s about Hugo and his dream to fix the automaton, the other quirky people who frequent the station — and it’s also about early movies. If you have an interest in movies you’ll be fascinated by the depiction here of the making of silent movies.

One character in the movie, Georges Méliès, was a real person — so certain aspects of the movie are true. He was one of the earliest filmmakers, and made over 500 short films. He directed, wrote, designed, and acted — and was the first to use some techniques that are still used today.

It’s a beautiful movie — I would have liked to have seen it on the big screen. If you’ve heard it’s a kid’s movie, don’t believe it — I encourage you to see it.

I liked the music quite a bit. It’s suitably playful, and is by Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings). My favourite track on the album is “The Thief.”

I didn’t realize this before but the movie is based on a novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Asa Butterfield will be playing Ender in Ender’s Game next year, which I will undoubtedly watch. Chloë Grace Moretz (the vampire in Let Me In) is always a joy to see. Ben Kingsley (Dr. Squires in The Wackness), Jude Law (Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes), and Christopher Lee (Saruman in The Lord of the Rings) are marvelous. Sacha Baron Cohen does a fine job — I haven’t been interested in seeing any of his other movies besides the Madagascar ones (he plays King Julien). Hugo was directed by Martin Scorsese (The Aviator and The Last Temptation of Christ).

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at 7:52 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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