Sunday, November 27, 2011

Movie Review: Hugo (2011)


The Rating and Cautions
Rating: PG (for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking)

Violence- practically nil
Language- nonexistent (amazing!!!)
Sexuality- one mature-ish conversation and a mildly awkward reference to a cow's anatomy. 

Also- suspense in several places, and one brief nightmare sequence that may bother some young kids. 

The Credits

Based on the book, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick. 

Screenplay written by John Logan

The Summary
Set in 1930's Paris, the story is about a young orphan named Hugo, who has a broken automaton his father was fixing before he died. When not managing the clocks in the train station where he lives, Hugo steals food, avoids the orphan-catcher/inspector, or is fixing the automaton. Along the way he meets a girl named Isabel, who has a key to the puzzle of the machine..... which unlocks something more wonderful than either of them thought. 

The Director's Take
This film is a little piece of wonderment. 

It was funny, it was enchanting, it was moving, it was thrilling. (and it was clean!!!) 

Frankly, it was beautiful. 

From the first time I saw the trailer, I knew it was going to be good. 

Not only was it an offhand tribute to the early ages of cinema, it was masterfully told, perfectly cast (anyone else in love with Asa Butterfield? The kid is amazing! and adorable...), totally lovely, and one of the most unique, heart warming stories ever. 

In specifics: first off, the film academy library in particular was gorgeous. The cinematography was incredible. 

The score was perfect. (Done by one Howard Shore :D). While still a grand, sweeping score, it had a marked French sound about it too, which was lovely. 

There was a lot of mystery around the automaton and the message it would write once fixed properly-- but the film didn't "anticipate" or promise anything it didn't deliver, which made me very happy. It could have easily gotten our hopes very high only to have them be unsatisfied- but it didn't and I'm glad. 

Also-- Asa Butterfield's acting was phenomenal (he was also Bruno in The Boy In The Striped Pajamas). He cries really well. Just sayin'.... 

Objections? None at all. Except the title font was different than on the poster-- which bugged me. xD

On a serious note, though, there was that one aforementioned conversation which was about the... questionable parentage of the guy's child-- it was worded so it wasn't ick though-- and no one will even remember it by the end of the film.
(The inspector also said something about "perfectly formed udders" which was borderline inappropriate, but again-- no one will remember by the end of the film.)

The Cameos (Biblical Application)
From a vantage point at the top of a tower, Paris looks like the clocks Hugo takes care of, with the streets as gears and cogs. Showing this view to Isabel, Hugo says something like, "It's like the world is one big machine." 
And he goes on to say that in a machine, there are never any spare parts, which means that he's not a spare part-- that he is on this earth for a purpose. And they had a little conversation about trying to know what their purposes were.

I was really, really blessed by that scene. In fact, I had a whole sermon running through my head just because of that scene ;)

Anyway, continuing on Hugo's thought that we each have a purpose because there are no spare parts-- my extended thought is:

The way to know what our purpose is, is to find out who the maker of the machine is. Then you know what He made- and why He made you-- and what you're meant to do. 

And if you're broken, do not fear; the Maker can fix you. 

10 Things I Learned from Hugo:
  1. A movie can actually be funny, clean, and amazing all at once. No language or violence required.
  2. In the early days of cinema, splicing film together was very much like the work of any craftsman, because you're actually touching the film and cutting it and taping it together. It's cool.
  3. Everything created was created for a purpose. 
  4. Inception isn't limited to Nolan's work. You can have a nightmare within a nightmare. (See: nightmare sequence in the movie.)
  5. Asa Butterfield is awesome.
  6. It stinks to be an orphan in 1930's France. 
  7. Broken instruments are one of the saddest sights ever.
  8. The Lumiere Brothers, who invented the movie camera, considered movies to be a passing fad of the time.
  9. Saruman is actually a librarian.
  10. Making movies is really, really fun. 

The Closing Line 
It is with the barest possible of objections and the highest regard for a wonderful story and storyteller, that with great pleasure I recommend this to anyone and everyone

Seriously! In need of something to watch? Quick! Go watch Hugo. (3D not necessary- I saw it in 2D and it was great. )

I'll leave you with this thought:

What's your purpose? 


Spook said...

Saruman the librarian *giggle-fits* Sorry, I have images of him chasing the Fellowship around with a book going "QUIET IN THE LIBRARY!!!"

Sounds like a lovely film - not sure if it'd be my thing (I'm not very picky about bad language or anything like that, though excess of it really gets up my nose) - but it does sound very sweet. Nice review! :)

The Director said...

Oh man, Spook, stop making me laugh......!!! xD xD

Hannah Joy said...

This movie looks incredible! I can't wait until it comes out on DVD, since we're saving our theater money for Tintin.

Nairam said...

@Spook: That's hilarious. XD

@The post: I saw a trailer for this movie just the other day! I thought it looked fascinating, but doubted that it really was. That's exciting, though by the time I get to it it'll probably be out on DVD...because my family's slow like that...

Josiphine said...

I want to see this sooo bad! The book is great, :)

Chamomile said...

This movie was amazing. The picture, the music, the acting, and don't forget... Jude Law!

The Musical Dancer said...

I really need to go see this now! Have you ever read the book? It's really amazing since most of it is pictures. I love this story. :D

Christopher said...

Asa Butterfield is amazing. I haven't seen this film but I saw him in "Nanny McPhee Returns," as well as the fact that he plays a recurring character in a BBC TV show I watch called "Merlin." He's awesome. :D

Great review! I haven't seen this movie yet, but I really want to. Maybe this coming week...

Corey P. said...

Awesome review of what looks like an awesome film. Can't wait to watch this one. :D