Brian’s Review – “Hugo” (2011)


What’s it About?

Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.


Directed by Martin Scorsese

10 out of 10

By Brian

HUGO  is a movie that reminds me why I fell in love with the movies. It’s a glorious, wonderfully scripted, and perfectly acted visual masterpiece. Considering all of the great films that Martin Scorsese has made over his brilliant career, this is the most visually stunning in his filmography.

This isn’t just another run of the mill family film. It’s a moving children’s book illustration that is photographed so exquisitely that the story feels alive. It truly saddens me that a piece of shit kids film like Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 that was solely created to make money out grosses a work of art like Hugo by $50 million dollars. It’s like choosing a microwave corn dog over a filet mignon steak. The camera is alive in Hugo. We move through the train station and learn all about the different and amazing characters that populate the story.

The brilliant plot device that Hugo lives inside the walls while maintaining the clocks allows Scorsese to move from place to place within the story in creative ways. There’s beautiful shots throughout but the camera is always moving. The world itself is rich with color and slightly untouchable. It’s almost as if a colored dreamlike gauze has been placed over the camera.

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Scorsese’s use of both color and light lead me to believe that this film probably didn’t pop as well in 3D because of the way the glasses tint and darken the image. The performances are impeccable all the way around. Both of the child performances by Asa Butterfield as Hugo and Chloe Grace Moretz as Isabelle are excellent.

But, it’s Ben Kingsley’s turn as George Melies that cements the story as a classic. I wouldn’t dare give away what happens but I’ll say that it takes you on a cinematic journey that will remind you what it was like when you first sat in a theater and allowed yourself to feel lost in a movie for the first time.

One comment

  1. Excellent review. I was starting to consider watching this and now I’m convinced that I will. I think this movie may suffered from exceptionally poor advertising. The trailers did nothing positive for me, I remember thinking that it looked like a sort of pretentious Harry Potter.

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