Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helen McCrory, Emily Mortimer
Screenplay: John Logan
UK Release Date: 2nd December 20111 - UK
Quick Plot: After his father passes away, young Hugo Cabret lives in a railway station in Paris and is constantly running and hiding from the stationmaster who wants to send him to an orphanage. After meeting Isabelle, Hugo soon realises that their meeting cannot have been coincidence after her key mysteriously fits the automaton his father left him. And then the adventure begins..
Review: It's been a while since a family film has included an enjoyable storyline, lovable characters, beautiful colours and a great sense of companionship. For a film to have had all of these, it's a surprise it's come from an iconic director like Martin Scorsese. With no blood, guns, violence or sinister characters, Hugo has a very different audience to some of Scorsese's other films. But even without the blood, violence and so forth, Hugo is the same as other Scorsese films because it has aspects which refer to legendary films as well as being a legendary film.
There is no doubt about it that Hugo is beautiful. It's cold opening is completely enchanting as it introduces a stunning 1913 Paris train station where the film takes place while also introducing young Hugo's life. A young orphan who lives in a train station as the secret clock master, watching people every day as they fall in love, play music and sell croissants. The Paris setting is fascinating not only for the younger generation but for older people too because of the rich colours and believable atmosphere. Even before the story gets underway, it's clear Hugo thrives upon films from before the talkies because of it's classic film aroma.
After the 45 minutes, the film focuses a little too much on 'a history of cinema' that may or may not cause younger people to drift away from the Hugo. Though it's still magical and because the cinema story is brought to life by Scorsese, it's interesting while it adds to the beauty of the film. Adapted from the book 'The Invention Of Hugo Cabret' by Brian Selznick, the film mostly looks at the life and films ofautomaton his father was trying to fix up, comes the mystery of the film. At first it's fun to see what the automaton writes when working and what connection it has to Isabelle (Moretz), but after, the discovery element is lost among the praise to cinema. Luckily for us, the flashbacks to Nevertheless, it's easy to see why critics are calling Hugo Scorsese's 'love letter' to cinema.
Though Hugo will primarily be known for it's beautiful setting and Scorsese's homage to cinema, the performances should not be forgotten. As a fan of her work, Chloë Grace Moretz never fails to deliver and for her age she has got an incredible list of roles to her name. As young Isabelle, Moretz is the standout of the film as she brings a sweet warmth every time she is on screen and aids Butterfield to gives his breakout performance. Isabelle entices the audience into the life of Hugo Cabret and the pair begin a wonderful friendship. Sacha Baron Cohen, as the wicked station master determined to capture Hugo and whisk him off to the orphanage, is marvellous and completes the film. Cohen gives Hugo it's humour while Moretz gives Hugo its charm. Then there is Kingsley who is fantastic, as always, who brings the story back to earth with his character, the famous
Hugo is a massive adventure which is sure to bring fun and light for any family out there. With a beautiful homage and stories of old cinema, Scorsese has adapted a masterpiece with beautiful visuals and enchanting tales. Though it could have done with more discovery, Hugo is enjoyable, sweet and charming.