Feature: A View from the Id

See 11-Oscar Nominee Hugo (2011) on Home Video February 28

Author: Bob Etier
Published: February 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Martin Scorsese’s Hugo is a finely-crafted adventure enveloping a love letter to movies, film preservation, and pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès. The story of an orphaned and abandoned boy living in the clockworks of a Paris train station, Hugo lovingly creates a time and place that is as real as today, but could only exist in the imagination.

Hugo’s time is post-World War I, setting is the train station and its close environs, and denizens are the people who work in the train station shops. Hugo (Asa Butterfield) Cabret’s father was an industrious clockmaker (Jude Law) who dies in a fire. Hugo’s gruff, hard-drinking uncle (Ray Winstone) is employed to keep the train station clocks running; he whisks the boy away to the clockworks to do his job for him, then abandons Hugo to fend for himself. Hugo steals croissants from a café and small mechanical parts from an imperious toy seller’s (Ben Kingsley) shop, which he needs to repair an automaton he and his father had been rebuilding at the time of his father’s death. Sacha Baron Cohen is Gustav, the uniformed, officious station inspector ever on the lookout for trespassing orphans and Mademoiselle Lisette (Emily Mortimer), the flower seller. (Watch for Christopher Lee in a stunning turn as a bookseller.)

The intentionally-vague synopsis of Hugo, “Welcome to a magical world of spectacular adventure! When wily and resourceful Hugo discovers a secret left by his father, he unlocks a mystery and embarks on a quest that will transform those around him and lead to a safe and loving place he can call home,” reveals little of a film that combines those elements with three love stories, the vexation of a frustrated genius, and the flowering of an adventurous friendship between two orphaned children (Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz).

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Article Author: Bob Etier

Two words describe Bob Etier: "female" and "weird." Like many freelance writers, there's something about her that isn't quite right. Read her stuff and find out what.

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