Country: United States
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen
Oscar wins: Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing
Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score
Martin Scorsese's latest film, Hugo is the second film of 2011, along with "The Artist" that is a tribute to the silent film era, and Scorsese does a great job of going back to the very beginning to see how one pioneer, Georges Méliès, a magician who saw this new medium more than just moving pictures on the sideshow attractions, but as a vehicle to other worlds, other planets and other realities. It was of course the Lumière brothers who invented the camera, but it was Méliès who first used it to create illusions.
Hugo is set in the year 1931, in Paris where a young boy named Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) whom after his father's (Jude Law) death is forced to live with his uncle (Ray Winstone) at the train station, and Hugo have to leave school to work as a watchmaker. But before his father's death, they were both working on finding all the missing part to an automaton (A mechanic robot) which Hugo brought with him at the train station, but he need the missing parts. And it's only one store on the station that have those parts, is a toy shop, run by a man named Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley). After having caught Hugo of stealing, Hugo is then set to work for Méliès to pay his debt. But Hugo's search is far from over.
Hugo is funny enough a family film, by one of the most violent directors of our time. But we must not forget that Scorsese have given us some big surprises over the years, like the musical "New York, New York", the period drama "Age of Innocence" and the historical epic "Kundun". But this only shows us Scorsese's love for the cinema itself in every form, and Hugo is for sure his greatest tribute to something he really loves more than everything, the movies. And Hugo is full of every kind of tribute to the great silent classics, such as the scenes where the Station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) is chasing after Hugo, or when Hugo is hanging from a clock, like Harold Lloyd. And it's indeed funny to watch. But the problem might be that it's more of a tribute than a movie. Overall I did love Hugo, and I really hope that more people will open their eyes for the silent cinema. Thumbs up.
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