Monday 26 March 2012

Today's Review: Hugo

Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is an orphan boy who lives in a train station in France, maintaining the clocks behind the scenes. Every once in a while he pops out to steal some food, avoiding the watchful eye of the station inspector, Gustave (Sacha Baron Cohen). The only thing that remains to remind Hugo of his father is a run down automaton, for which Hugo also sneaks out to steal parts. After being caught by the station's toymaker, Georges (Ben Kingsley), Hugo starts a journey to understand what connection there might be between this grumpy old man and the machine he is working on, with the assistance of Georges' goddaughter, Isabelle (Chloƫ Moretz).

Hugo is a lovely fantasy film. Scorsese has created some excellent set pieces with the station itself and the tunnels and clockwork behind the scenes. The characters are wonderfully realised as well, with Hugo's piercing blue eyes reflecting his innocence, and Inspector Gustave's leg brace making him both menacing and comedic. Every character who seems to be evil at first at least have some hint of humanity in them, a troubled past that they are keen to suppress, but in the end there is resolution and everything is wrapped up very nicely.

There are some great performances in this movie. Kingsley and Moretz are great as usual, and even Baron Cohen proves how far he has come from his over the top roles. He still puts on a funny accent, but the way he copes with the character's struggles is very believable. The casting is just great overall and everyone just seems to fit in perfectly with their fantastical surroundings.

All in all, Hugo is just very well made. Scorsese has used his talents to great effect to create a wonderful family film, with great set pieces, wonderful casting and great 3D and visual effects. 

My rating: 5/5

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