This movie received rave reviews when it came out (Scorsese said he was making a kids film he’d want to watch), and since I think Chloe Moretz and Ben Kingsley are awesome, I watched it. Christopher Lee turns up and he’s awesome too, but takes a minor role. Jude Law pops up briefly too, and Sacha Baron Cohen has a larger role.
The sets and cinematography a beautiful, and I really enjoyed seeing the lives of everyone in the station. The movie is packed full of all the things little boys love: magic, mechanics, trains, inventions, Jules Verne, the promise of adventure, secrets and investigations. There are other elements that reveal its intended juvenile audience: how adults always think they know better, and the problems of being too short.
I was surprised and a little appreciative that in the end the movie turned not to be about Hugo, instead being more about the history of cinema (it’s hard to imagine the multi-million-dollar blockbusters of today beside what used to be an elaborate hobby) and Kingsley’s character.
Hugo is a heartwarming, optimistic film that kept me engaged with its fictionalised historical tidbits and elaborate visual inventiveness. I didn’t like Moretz’s hairstyle and thought she mugged a bit, but nothing’s perfect. She and Butterfield will be turning up soon in movies I’m really looking forward to (Kick-Ass 2 and Ender’s Game).