Based upon the incredible book The Invention of Hugo Cabret comes the new film Hugo. Famed director Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Shutter Island) has created a film that can only be described as beautiful — a rare occurrence, but even rarer in this calibre.
A film may be colourful or colourless, musical or silent, deep or funny, quick or patient. But how often does one discover a film that bears all of these attributes? And so harmoniously at that. These elements have combined to create a truly magical film, with Scorsese as its wizard.
Set in post World War One Paris, Hugo Cabret, who is played by Asa Butterfield (The Wolfman, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang), secretly works as the clock master in a railway station.
When Hugo was younger, his father had been a clockmaker and had tried to build an automaton (a mechanical man). After his father’s death, Hugo was forced to move in with his uncle and work on the station’s clocks. He still tries to fix the automaton, hoping to discover the message within its cogs — a message his father may have left him.
Hugo is led on an incredible adventure, which takes the audience back through time in a mesmerising way.
The all-star line up, including Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass), Ben Kingsley (Schindler’s list), Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) and Christopher Lee (Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings), help bring this story to life.
The bubbly charm of Moretz’s character Isabelle fits perfectly with the quiet thoughtfulness of Hugo. Similarly, the firm demeanour of Ben Kingsley as Georges Méliès, the former filmmaker and toy shop owner, and Christopher Lee as Monsieur Labisse, the bookshop owner, are balanced amazingly well with the extravagant ways of the Station Inspector, played by Sacha Baron Cohen.
The picturesque cinematography of Robert Richardson (Shutter Island, Inglourious Basterds) is accompanied superbly by the simple music of Howard Shore (a collaborator on The Lord of the Rings), as is Scorsese’s direction with the writing of John Logan (Rango, Gladiator).
All in all, this film is like the perfect sandwich. It is filled with many different tastes, textures and colours; yet somehow when it is consumed, it creates a dazzling experience that will have you laughing, clutching your seat, amazed, frightened and all the while humming along with the music.
Hugo is currently showing in selected cinemas. It is rated PG.