Movie response: Hugo

Among the celebrations this past weekend for M's birthday, we visited the theater to see a film of his choosing: Hugo in 3D. I didn't have many expectations (save for the given awesomeness of Scorsese) because I had a hard time ascertaining from the previews what the film was about (which, I would guess, is what endeared my honey to this film, as he typically covers his ears and shuts his eyes during previews so as not to have a film ruined by over-informative promos). The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the Brian Selznick book upon which the film is based, tragically never made it onto my radar, and so I was completely open to the element of surprise.

And surprised I was. Delighted, really.


Not wanting to give too much away for those of you also unfamiliar with this tale of historical-fiction, I will simply say that there are so many elements of this film to adore. I truly think you'd be hard pressed to find a viewer who isn't at least amused by the story, if not fantastically charmed as I was.

The historical background of this film centers on the life and works of filmmaker Georges Melies, played by Sir Ben Kingsley. (While watching the actual clips of Melies's films featured in Hugo, you may recall the Smashing Pumpkins' video for "Tonight, Tonight," which was shot as a stylistic homage to Melies. Bonus cool points.) The enchanting visuals typified by Melies's work were skillfully mirrored by Scorsese, creating a world that waltzes between adventures of fantasy and the cold obdurate reality of our characters, the journey between serving as the emotional heart of the film.

Set in 1930s Paris, the city is a character of its own right. (And we all know how much I love Paris.) The melding of classic Parisian icons with an ever-present, elegant clock motif and mysterious mechanical man had me grinning from ear to ear...even in the midst of tears. Visually, this is the stuff that really knocks my socks off.

Actor performances were great. I especially adored Sacha Baron Cohen as Inspector Gustav; awkward and humorous are clearly his forte, which served the role very well. Asa Butterfield's performance as the title-character was quite impressive. Those blue eyes? Forget about it.

Hugo is a visual feast and I left the theater feeling absolutely enchanted. If you're in the mood for a proper adventure, get thee to the theater and take in this whimsical treat.


  1. Ooh I really want to watch this - it's based on a book right? I'd love to watch it :)

  2. Aw, this is cute. I can't wait to see this film.

  3. Awesome review Nat! It's playing at my local theater. WIll have to check it out. :D

  4. It is! From what I've seen while researching the film, it's kind of a book-graphic novel hybird. How awesome is that?!

  5. Thanks, LeeLee! It's a great one. I hope you enjoy it. :)

  6. Thanks, Kim! It's quite an adventure. And you'll love all the Paris scenery, fashion and music! :D