During the Thanksgiving weekend I went to see the film Hugo with my wife (Gina The Gorgeous), and my mind is still reeling with the wonder of it all…
First of all I would 100% recommend that you see the 3D version of the film, which is an adaptation of the Brian Selznick's book The Invention of Hugo Cabaret. As far as I’m concerned, with this film the director – Martin Scorsese – has taken 3D to a whole new level.
In my minds-eye I can still see the opening sequence as we fly across 1930s Paris and into the main train station – zooming down the platform amongst the passengers (I still don’t know if these characters were real actors or computer-generated animations)…
…and into hidden tunnels behind the walls of the station where we first meet Hugo, who is played brilliantly and poignantly by Asa Butterfield. The camera follows Hugo as he travels through the tunnels and up and down metal staircases. To tell you the truth, I have no idea how this opening sequence was achieved, but it’s so amazing that I honestly think this sequence was worth the price of admission in its own right.
As we soon discover, 12-year old Hugo is an orphan. His father was a clockmaker who worked in a museum and who taught Hugo the tricks of the trade. While working in the museum, Hugo’s father discovered a discarded human-like automation in the museum’s attic and brought it home to work on it with Hugo.
When his father dies in a fire at the museum, Hugo’s drunkard of an uncle takes Hugo (and the automation) to live with him in the station – they reside in a hidden apartment behind the walls of the station.
The uncle’s job is to keep the many clocks in the station oiled and wound up. When the uncle disappears, Hugo continues the work, stealing whatever food he can from the station vendors and continuing to try to bring the automation to life.
The plot is layered and intricate. The scenery is incredible (the clocks and hidden areas of the station are Steampunk at its best). The mean and bitter owner of the toy shop in the station is played magnificently by Ben Kingsley, while Christopher Lee makes a lot of a small role as the bookshop owner.
In fact, all of the characters are played impeccably. Perhaps the only slight discord is the limping gendarme whose task it is to patrol the station and keep the riff-raff out. Played by Sacha Baron Cohen, this character is a bit hammed up … but I really didn’t mind because everything seemed to somehow fit together.
In fact, one of the great things about this film is that although you start off by really disliking some of the characters like the mean toy shop owner and the even meaner gendarme, as you discover their stories you learn to forgive them – and even to start to like them – and everything works out well in the end (I do like that in a film).
I could waffle on for hours – suffice it to say that I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the story and there are many more mysteries to be revealed. This family-friendly film, which is suitable for all ages except perhaps the very young, is a sumptuous extravaganza for the eyes and ears and imagination, and I would happily urge anyone to race out and see it.
Meanwhile, since we are talking about 3D, I just saw the most amazing video about a 3D projection on (what I am informed is) a storefront in Berlin. Click Here
to see this video. This really is spectacular and is well worth watching the whole way through. I would LOVE to see this in the real world… maybe one day…
Click this image to see an amazing 3D video/animation/thingy
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