Posted by: ckckred | December 20, 2011

Hugo: Scorsese’ Perception of George Méliès

After quite a while since it came out, I saw Hugo.  And I’m glad to say it certainly lived up to my expectations.

I wrote a review for the book a few weeks ago, and there are quite a few differences between the novel and movie (Sacha Baron Cohen’s given a bigger role in the film for example), but otherwise the adaption remained faithful to the story.

The story is about an orphan named Hugo (Asa Butterfield) , who lives in a clock tower in a train station in Paris.  He steals mechanical parts from local toymaker Papa George (Ben Kingsley) to fix a human automation Hugo and his father worked on before he died. But when Papa George discovers Hugo, he takes his notebook with the automation’s notes and refuses to give it back unless he works for him to pay off the stolen parts.  Hugo also meets Papa George’s goddaughter Isabel (Chloë Grace Moretz), who tries to help Hugo fix his automation.

The side plot revolves around Hugo trying to avoid the bumbling station manager (Sacha Baron Cohen), who is trying to attract the attention of a flower keeper.  Cohen adds comic humor to the story.

As the story turns, we eventually discover Papa George is really the legendary director George Méliès, who was the pioneer of special effects.  Scorsese supplies us with an added history of George Méliès and his films, with added clips of his old films and recreations.

I really hate 3-D because it’s mostly used as a way for higher ticket prices, but Scorsese uses it to his advantage.  He turns the sets and characters into the third dimension and even coverts Méliès old films into 3-D.

The reason Scorsese said he made this film on an interview with Jon Stewart was for his daughter to see.  But I feel he also made this movie for the lovers of cinema, as it embraces the imaginations of the original pioneers of film.



  1. So glad you got to see this, brilliant film indeed. How would you rate it?

    Nice work!

    • Out of four stars, I’d give it four.

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