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Movie Review: Hugo Cabret

January 27, 2012

One word: Magical. 

Hugo Cabret is easily one of the best book to movie adaptations I’ve seen. It really was like the book come to life on the big screen.  The Invention of Hugo Cabret, for those who haven’t read it (and I highly suggest you do!) is the story of Hugo, a 12 year old orphan who lives in the walls of a train station in Paris.  He keeps all the clocks in the station running in perfect order.  In his spare time he works on repairing an automaton that he and his father discovered in the attic of a museum, and tries to stay out of sight so that he won’t get hauled off to an orphanage.

One word on the book, (which if you haven’t read, you really, REALLY should, because it’s groundbreaking.) Brian Selznick tells the story in prose AND pictures.  Both of which are phenomenal.  The combination makes for an unusual, but really magical reading experience. There’s really never been anything like it and I can see this half and half picture/prose style catching on… it’s the wave of the future, I’m telling you.  You read it here.

So, the movie.  I loved it.  It was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.  The color scheme was warm and so… FRENCH. The main plot is fast moving and engaging and all the side plots were sweet and funny and just as they should be. Asa Butterfield is fantastic in the title role.  As is pretty much every other actor in the film.

This movie is essentially a story of self-discovery.  Hugo searches for his place in a world where his freedom depends on his ability to let no one know of his existence.  A world where his only company is a broken automaton. But he knows he must have a place. He likens the world to a clock “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’s journey to find his  place in the world collides unexpectedly and violently with an old, sad man who runs a toy shop in the train station.  He is the winter to Hugo’s spring, he already found his place in a world that loved him and then changed and left him behind.

There’s really something for everyone in this film.  It’s smart, funny, beautiful and educational.  

5 Stars. 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susie permalink
    January 30, 2012 9:58 am

    I really enjoyed this movie! So beautiful and profound!


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