Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Movie Review: Hugo

Hugo, seen in Real 3D, fills the eyes with wonder and enchantment. The film is set in the Paris train station in the early 1900s. The clock gears connect and run perfectly thanks to a young orphan named Hugo. We watch as he learned mechanics from his clockmaker and inventor father (Jude Law), but sadly is orphaned due to a fire. He's hustled to the train station by a drunk uncle and ultimately takes over the behind the scenes tick, tick, tick. His clear blue eyes observe the locals - the dour man running a toy booth, the flower girl that the head stationmaster (comic relief provided by Sacha Baron Cohen) falls for, the elderly couple in love, and Isabelle, the toyman's goddaughter.

Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) befriends young Hugo and senses his loss and also secrets. Sure enough he slowly allows her into his world and finds that she has a key to unlock the one thing his father left him - an automaton. That automaton leads to further secrets - the toy booth man (Ben Kingsley) once had a creative vibrant life.

The crux of Hugo is the idea of life purpose, following dreams, and fixing things - whether it's machinery or people. Somehow, there's a solution to problems. While this is a kid film, I found it quite magical as an adult and the message was heartfelt. The Real 3D gave an added sense of being in the cogs of momentum.

Director Martin Scorcese embraced the challenge and once again created movie magic. The film builds slowly, has pauses to allow the viewer to bask in the style, and tells an old fashioned story. The young lad playing Hugo, Asa Butterfield, looks frail, but proves a strong worthy hero. He keeps us concerned, and the tick tick we hear is our heart beating as we race through the clock tower corridors to find Hugo a home and happiness.

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