Aaaaaand… action! As I said on Monday, it’s a big week for movie releases, and I’m here today to talk about the first movie on our list: Hugo. It’s based on the mega-popular illustrated novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret (say: “kuh-bray”) by Brian Selznick, and it hits theatres today.
Hugo follows the adventures of an orphaned boy who lives in the walls of a train station in Paris. He sets and maintains the station’s clocks, and steals food and whatever else he needs to get by. In his spare time, he tries to fix a machine in the shape of a man (called an automaton) that he believes holds a message from his father, who died in a fire at his museum years before.
When Hugo discovers his new friend, Isabelle, literally holds the key to get the automaton to deliver his message, the two are launched into an adventure that could change not only their lives, but the lives of all those around them as well.
But can Hugo stay out of reach of the cruel station inspector long enough to see the adventure through? You’ll have to see the flick to find out!
Here are a few observations about the movie:
1) It looks great. Seriously. The sets are intricate, the colours pop right off the screen, and there’s a huge variety of shots: swooping ones, overhead shots, still ones, jumpy ones, etc. It all goes to create the sense that the world Hugo inhabits is like our own, but magical at the same time.
2) It’s upbeat. While Hugo faces some bleak circumstances, he is relentlessly positive, and never gives up hope that he is on the right track. In fact, the film has a bunch of positive messages about having faith in yourself and facing your fears. It’s also upbeat about the power of movies, which is a definite plus for movie lovers.
3) It’s a puzzle. In most stories, a character is presented with a problem, and the story ends when the problem is solved. In the case of Hugo, finally fixing his broken automaton is just the beginning. Each discovery from then on leads mainly to more questions and problems. This makes the movie (runtime: 120 minutes) drag on a little bit as we watch Hugo and Isabelle figure out just what it is they’re trying to figure out.
Overall, I thought Hugo was good. It might be a little long and complicated for younger viewers, but I think OWL-aged moviegoers will enjoy it a lot. The 3-D is done well, too, which isn’t always the case!
What do you think, OWL readers? Will you see this movie? Were you a fan of the book this is based on? Let me know in the comments below.
Talk to you soon.
P.S. Check back on Friday for my review of The Muppets, which also comes out today. Check out Kendra’s review of Arthur Christmas on the chickaDEE blog on Friday, too!