Review: Hugo 3D (2011)

“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason.”

Hugo is a 3D adventure drama film. It stars Asa Butterfield (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), Chloë Moretz (Kick-Ass), Ben Kingsley (Shutter Island), Sacha Baron Cohen (Brüno) and Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes). The film is directed by Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Shutter Island).

Throughout his extraordinary career, Academy Award-wining director Martin Scorsese has brought his unique vision and dazzling gifts to life in a series of unforgettable films. This holiday season the legendary storyteller invites you to join him on a thrilling journey to a magical world with his first-ever 3-D film, based on Brian Selznick’s award-winning, imaginative New York Times best-seller, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.” Hugo is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home.

It’s here! Finally! One of the most anticipated films of the year, HUGO, a family film made by Martin Scorsese. Yes you heard that right. The great man has left the mean streets (for now) and has directed his first family film that is rated ‘U’. Not only that, it’s also Scorsese’s first foray into 3D film making which is very interesting.

Asa Butterfield plays the titled character, Hugo Cabret. A truly wonderful young actor that emits a state of stillness on screen. He seems very comfortable, confident and natural. A very impressive performance for a young lead role. I liked the way he controls his emotions through out the film.

Chloë Moretz’s rise to fame is getting higher and higher. I mean she’s only fourteen and can add, ‘worked with Martin Scorcese’ on her resume. She’s a solid performer and does do an acceptable English accent to boot. A very charming performance from her. Sir Ben Kingsley is also very prominent in the film. He plays Papa Georges, a grumpy toy seller and Godfather to Moretz’s character of Isabelle. Without giving too much away all I’ll say is Kingsley, as usual, doesn’t disappoint and is an excellent character that only gets better as the film goes on. Another mention has to go to Sacha Baron Cohen as Inspector Gustav, a man who’s sole purpose is catch unwanted children in the station and send them to orphanage’s. I liked the comic relief he brought with the clumsiness of the character plus with his charismatic canine companion.

As I was watching HUGO I came to a realisation that this is one of Scorsese’s most personal films. I can sense his life in nearly every scene when talking about cinema. Hugo is very much a version of a young Scorsese where all did was go to the movies, and whilst there, consumed and inherited the joy that’s to be had in celluloid. I’d like to mention the score as well. Howard Shore has produced a truly magical soundtrack that matches the rich Paris setting, one of my favourites of the year.

Now lets get to the final and biggest point, the 3D. If you know me then you’ll realise that I have an utmost detest for 3D. But this was Martin Scorsese so I had to give it a go. This was the the first film I volunteered to see in 3D since Alice In Wonderland (which by the way made me HATE 3D). HUGO and Scorsese use it very effectively it must be said, the best I’ve seen in a while. Unfortunately I still don’t like the format. After 30 minutes I’m left rubbing my eyes and start getting headaches. Sterling effort Martin but not for me.

Overall I found HUGO to be a immensely enjoyable and satisfying watch. It’s a very special film in its own right and deserves your attention. It might be rated ‘U’ but I think if your under the age of ten you might struggle. It’s great family film but no so much a kids one. I highly recommend this for the Christmas

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