Friday, February 24, 2012
Review: Hugo Dazzles, Mesmerizes, Beguiles
That's the only word on can use to describe the new Martin Scorsese film Hugo.
Hugo is Scorcese's $160 million visual delight. It's his first film in 3-D. It's his first "family" film. And, it's been nominated for more Academy Awards than any other film this year.
I'm here to tell you that it has truly earned every award it's been nominated for -- and then some,
Hugo is a feast for the eyes, ears, the imagination and the senses. And don't be put off by the "family film" designation. This is a movie filled with childhood wonder and touched by adult sensibility and poignancy. It spans all generations. It's Scorsese's gift to everyone and it's also his homage to the movies.
Written by John Logan and based on the book by Brian Selznick, Hugo is the story of an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in the 1930s in Paris. The boy fixes clocks and other gadgets -- a craft he learned to from his father and uncle. But both his father and uncle are gone and the only thing that he has left that connects him to his father is an automaton that doesn't work. Therein lies the mystery that propels the story: Hugo has to find the automaton's heart-shaped key.
On his adventures, Hugo meets with a cranky old man who works in the train station and his adventure-seeking god-daughter. Hugo finds that they have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton, and as he discovers it, the old man starts remembering his past and his significance to the world of film-making. This is where the movies comes into play.
The 3-D in this movie is absolutely seamless and stunning. The characters are vivid and wonderfully memorable. The story is irresistible. And, it's actually rooted in a kernel of truth.
Along with another one of this year's Best Picture nominees (Midnight In Paris) this movie will make you want to run away to Paris and never return.
Along with a third nominee (The Artrist) this film will make you nostalgic for the early days of the movies when directors played dazzling visual tricks on the audience; when life was more innocent and audiences were more willing to suspend disbelief; when actors didn't need to speak to convey meaning and emotion.
If you don't see Hugo you will be missing one of Scorsese's best and one of the most beguiling films you will ever see.
Round up friends, neighbors -- the whole family -- and rush to see Hugo.
You're gonna love it!