Movie Review: Hugo
Posted by: Mark Nichols
04 Mar 2012
The wife and I watched the movie Hugo last week. It just won 5 Academy Awards. Itís directed by Martin Scorsese. It appeared to be a good family friendly movie.
Turns out itís family friendly in that it induces a family nap time.
Donít read on if you want to avoid anything resembling a spoiler.
Hugo is a boy whoís been orphaned and is left living with his uncle at the train station. He winds clocks. The uncle disappears (ends up drunk and dead in a river) and Hugo keeps on winding away. Iím curious how his uncle got paid and where that money was going in his absence.
He and his dad had been trying to repair an ďautomatonĒ - a mechanical human-looking robot. Hugo continues the rebuilding process, stealing gears and such from a toy shop at the station. He also has to steal his food each day.
When the toy shop owner catches him stealing stuff, Hugo claims heís not a thief. UmÖ yes you are. He makes this claim a couple of times.
When the toy shop owner sees Hugoís notebook with drawings of the automaton, the shop owner asks where he got the notebook. Hugo pulls a ďLostĒ: ďI canít answer that question! I have no reason to withhold this information except to stretch out the story and sell more ad time on the networks!Ē It was his dadís notebook and I guess he doesnít want to discuss his orphaned status.
It turns out the shop owner made the automaton and used to make movies. Heís been trying to forget his past but by the end of the movie can relive some of his glory. He erroneously thought all of his films and work had been destroyed. He ends up adopting Hugo.
More complaints: In typical Hollywood fashion, everyone speaks in British accents even though the setting is Paris. Hugo wears shorts even though itís the middle of winter. When he fixes the automaton, he winds it for 2 seconds but it operates for minutes. That defies physics. Itís apparently around 1920 and there are no cars in Paris. I havenít researched if thatís historically accurate, but because you see horses everywhere I was assuming a 1905 setting.
I think Ratatouille did a better job depicting Paris.
Hugo is really an homage to early film, and does create a fun little sense of community at the train station. There are little side stories where people are looking for love and of course they all find it.
This movie can be summed up by my wifeís statement to the following effect: ďThis movie was the longest short story ever.Ē I agree. Skip it.