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Drama - Family

Hugo (2011)

Duration2h 6m in 3D
RatingsUK: U, USA: PG India: U.
Source of storyA book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Seiznick
DirectorMartin Scorsese
Writers/ScriptJohn Logan
StarringBen Kingsley, Sasha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, Jude Law, Kevin Eldon, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.5 by 306,186 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 93% by 228 critics.

Elevator Pitch: In the Paris station Gare Montparnasse, a boy orphaned by an unfortunate series of events, carries out the work of maintaining the clocks, a job previously done by his uncle. He is forced to keep out if the way of the Station Inspector and his dog, to avoid being sent to an orphanage, and in his spare time tries to repair an automaton by stealing parts from a toy shop on the concourse run by an ex-film maker. Hugo, the boy, becomes friendly with the shop owner’s god daughter, and meets him, thereafter agreeing to work at the shop in repayment for the parts. Can the automaton be repaired? Will the former film maker be rediscovered? What will happen to Hugo?

Content:  There is no sex or nudity, but routine smoking and drinking in Paris. Mostly Hugo scampers about behind the walls of the station repairing and winding the clocks. We see the huge wheels and sprockets doing their stuff (must have been impressive in 3D]. Minor plots play out between station employees and passengers. The filmmaker George Méliès is discovered and his work shown, inspiring Hugo’s final escape from the station inspector which involves him hanging from a clock hand.

A View: This film was feted by the critics, cost a fortune but in the end lost money. Why? It was not really a movie made for an audience. It was a tribute to an early film maker disguised as a young adult story and actually as those critics who wrote negative reviews have said, it was not much of a story. The friendship between Hugo and Isabelle was slightly irritating. So despite its wonderful construction we viewers want more. You could have it on while doing your knitting.

Additional Info: Apparently the opening tracking shot took a year to complete.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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