Friday, December 9, 2011

Hugo (2011)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jude Law

More info: IMDb

Plot: Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in the 1930s in Paris. He fixes clocks and other gadgets as he learned to from his father and uncle. The only thing that he has left that connects him to his father is an automaton that doesn't work; Hugo has to find its heart-shaped key. On his adventures, he meets with a cranky old man 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 as he discovers it, the old man starts remembering his past and his significance to the world of film-making.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I just now watched the trailer. I hate music like that. It's so Hollywood and feel-goody for my taste. Had I seen it before I saw the picture I may have changed my mind. I'm glad I didn't. I only caught it a couple of days ago during a matinee. I was the only person in the theater. The 3D version looked great but it's not a must see like this. The movie itself is a MUST SEE for anyone who loves movies and movie making. I cried my eyes out but not at anything to do directly with the kid. It was finding out how many films of the early days of cinema that have been lost even by the 1930s. It's staggering and depressing. Everything dealing with Georges Milies and his days as a film maker had me in a tearful mess.

You can read all about Georges Milies HERE. After seeing this film I'm going to delve into whatever I can find. I've been reasonably familiar with his work since I was a child (who hasn't seen the iconic image of the rocket in the Moon's eye?) and HUGO opened up a world I had only touched on. Milies is the father of movie special effects and the first science fiction film. He made over 500 short films in about 20 years! Scorsese has created a love letter to the movies, specifically the early days of cinema and to Georges Milies. Anyone with a passing interest in any of this MUST see this in the theater. I literally cried when clips of his films were up there on the screen. It was soooooooo cool. It breaks my heart that I live in a piddly ass city that has no interest in showing older films. I was instantaneously crying out of joy and sadness.

HUGO is the kind of picture that inspires people to do great things, things that set you on a new path. I will not be surprised to hear that, in 20 years, there are many people in the movie industry who are there because they saw this picture. Please go see this in the theater before it's too late.

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