Genre: Adventure, Drama
Director: Martin Scorsese
Music: Howard Shore
Cinematography: Robert Richardson
Chloë Grace Moretz
Sacha Baron Cohen
Frances de la Tour
This year a blossoming homage to the genesis of the film industry has progressed into raptures for film aficionados and filmmakers (two frontrunners of the imminent Oscar, THE ARTIST, which I have yet to watch, and HUGO have aimed at B&W silent film and innovator Georges Méliès respectively). Martin Scorsese stews this $170,000,000 budgeted 1930s Paris Gare Montparnasse train station adventure feature in an almost immaculate way, and for the generation which may not be stupefied by Georges Méliès’ A TRIP TO THE MOON (Le voyage dans la lune 1902), for sure they will worship Hugo as a pristine monumental milestone for the new era of film business. I saw it in a 2D version and plan to watch the 3D version inconveniently double-bespectacledly.
Don’t be deceived by its fairytale sphere, a PG rating for Scorsese is a soft ball and none like any other adult-prone masterpieces. But the thrill and tension is still copious and similar to another gem of my 2011 9-out-of-10 league THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, both represent the paramount expectation from a true film master to bake a nutritious meal which is able to assuage everyone’s appetite, and both Scorsese and Spielberg have done that this year!
Juxtaposing with fellow New Yorker Woody Allen’s love letter to Paris (MIDNIGHT IN PARIS 2011). Scorsese has accomplished a more imposing one to the witchcraft of the whole film system at its very beginning, which embodies in the up-and-down career of Georges Méliès, and it accompanies Hugo and us to the journey of the pure magic.
The retro-setting of the train station is majestic and jaw-dropping, and Howard Shore’s fluently enchanting score is the cream of 2011, but a colossal budget has impeded its Oscar’s path since its lackluster box office, $61,911,429 so far (which I cannot figure out the reason why? A mishap of a Christmas season decision?) signifies that it will never be profitable and even impractical to make ends meet. And another Achilles heel is it bears zero acting nomination, which I put Asa Butterfield in my leading actor category (2nd to George Clooney so far) and he delivers his grit magnificently in his feeble appearance, as for Ben Kingsley, not as splendid as I hoped, at least he sits comfortably above Jonah Hill from MONEYBALL in my supporting actor list.