Hugo (movie review)
Machines tend to have exactly the number of parts that they need, and each one is important.
Hugo is an orphan living with his neglectful, alcoholic uncle who maintains the clocks at the Paris grand train terminal. He is highly creative and very good with his hands. He can fix almost anything, intuitively comprehending how every piece fits together.
The only piece that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere is himself. Looking over the vast Paris cityscape from his perch high in a clock tower, Hugo attempts to make some sense of how he fits in the intricate machine of life. Somehow, his uncle’s death, a girl’s friendship, and the movies all work together to help Hugo along in the journey to discover why he was put on this earth.
The breathtaking cinematography and digital effects render an all-enveloping world that transports the viewer to 1930’s Paris. The intricate clockwork scenes with interlocking gears is stunning. This is Martin Scorcese’s personal tribute to the history of the movie industry. Hugo’s and George’s love affair with the cinema are a reflection of Scorcese’s own.
The movie’s primary theme – people feeling sad and “broken” until they discover their purpose – is obvious, and the director presents it forcefully and winsomely, while being only a slightly preachy.
CAUTION: Most of the objectionable and mild “adult” portions of this film come from the Station Inspector, a character played with understated brilliance by Sasha Baren Conan.
5 out of 5 golden oldies on the silver screen
WHO SHOULD WATCH THIS MOVIE?
This movie is suitable for the whole family (ages 8 and up). Parents will discover many topics in the plot that will no doubt generate deep family discussions.
WHY DID I WATCH THIS MOVIE?
My daughter made this excellent selection for a recent family movie night.
What was your first movie seen in a theater? Mine was “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”