Hugo (2011)

by missizziemcguinness


”That’s how you know it’s an adventure’

Despite being known to direct more complex, mature themes, Martin Scorcese directs this family friendly film based on the children’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

Hugo is winner of 5 Oscars, which mostly went to Scorcese, and is about a twelve year old orphan called Hugo Cabaret (Asa Butterfield) who lives behind the walls of the clocks in a 1930s Paris train station, working the clocks and trying to fix the automaton left by his father, unknown to Hugo that the automoton contains secrets from the grumpy, delusive toy store owner and former director Georges Melies (Sir Ben Kingsley), whos films were beginning to be forgotten but starts to rediscover secrets of the silent film cinema.

The choice of cast is brilliant. Asa Butterfield, who was maybe about 12 or 13 when the movie was filmed, already had a short career with meaty roles such as The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas or other family films like Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang, so his signature bright blue eyes and lonely facial features were put to the test. Sir Ben Kingsley  was very convincing as Melies, the film director who wanted to forget all the work and things that he had done. The movie also starts Chloe Grace Moretz from the Kick Ass films playing Hugo’s book loving friend Isabelle and Sacha Baron Cohen as the terrifying Station Inspector.

I enjoyed the movie, it reminds me of the time I was ill at home, but most of the film recognition is from Scorcese taking a step away from his usual mature audience target market. I flicked through the novel and was interested by the carefully drawn illustrations that they have successfully translated from book to film.