3 July 2013


Hugo 2011
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Based on the novel by Brian Selznick
  • Cast: Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Michal Stuhlberg, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, Jude Law
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Asa Butterfield – Merlin, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
    • Ben Kingsley – Shutter Island, Gandhi, Twelfth Night, House of Sand and Fog, Schindler’s List, Dave
    • Sacha Baron Coehn – Sweeney Todd, Les Misérables
    • Chloë Grace Moretz – I recognized her but I can’t find anything in the list that I’ve seen
    • Ray Winstone – Cold Mountain, Last Orders, Nil by Mouth, Quadrophenia
    • Emily Mortimer – Shutter Island, Harry Brown, Paris je t’aime, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Notting Hill
    • Christopher Lee – Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sleepy Hollow
    • Helen McCrory – Harry Potter (Draco’s mother),  The Young Jane Austin, The Queen,
    • Michael Stuhlberg – A Serious Man
    • Frances de la Tour – Harry Potter (Madame Maxine), Alice in Wonderland, The Book of Eli, Cold Lazarus
    • Richard Griffiths - Harry Potter (Uncle Vernon), The Merry Wives of Windsor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sleepy Hollow, Gandhi, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Comedy of Errors, Withnail and I.
    • Jude Law – Sherlock Holmes, Cold Mountain, Alfie, Repo Men, Sherlock Holmes, Sleuth, The Holiday, Breaking and Entering, The Aviator, Captain Sky and the World of Tomorrow, Road to Perdition, eXistenZ, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,
  •  Why seen: Rave reviews, Scorcese
  • Seen: June 30, 2013

      Part fantasy, part film history, part obsession with the mechanics of clockwork, this film is hard to connect to the person who made Taxi Driver all those years ago. But then, Scorcese makes all kinds of films.
The lure of rave reviews can be tricky.  A film that is a loving tribute to Georges Méliés, one of the pioneers of film making, is bound to appeal to all film lovers. It does to me too but only half way through it when that main theme becomes clear.
It’s a visually stimulating move and it deservedly got a lot of Oscars for that. The idea of an orphan boy hiding in the walls of a Paris train station and keeping the clocks running is a likeable one. There are moments of excitement too, although Hugo’s clinging to the minute hand of the clock high above the streets of Paris is a bit too obvious a nod to the Harold Lloyd classic but not very likely even in this context.
Jude Law in his small role is good as always but I can’t help wish that the young Daniel Radcliff and Emma Watson had been chosen to play the kids (too late, I know; when the movie was made they had gone and grown up.)
Either you fall for the film’s charm or you don’t.  I don’t. Granted, I shed a few tears at the end but that doesn’t take much for me. The cloying sentimentality and superficial philosophy weigh heavily against the pleasure.
2 ½ * of 5

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