"Hugo" Movie Review

Hugo is a beautifully made, masterpiece of a film. I’m not sure what it is that makes it so magical, be it the picturesque train station and the scenic Paris streets, or the nostalgia that any significant film fan would feel whilst watching. Whatever the reason may be, its definitely safe to say, that Hugo is a charming and delightful movie, that anyone can enjoy, no matter what genre you’re in to. It’s a film that seems to touch everyone’s heart, and it reminds us of how cinema and film used to be.

Hugo is directed by Martin Scorsese, a phenomenal director who’s produced such classics as Goodfellas, Taxi Driver and Casino. This being his first children’s movie, its clear that Scorsese knows how to direct. He’s been in the film industry a long time now, and throughout his career he’s directed a huge range of film genres, such as Crime, Horror, Drama, Mystery, Thriller and now a film for children. It’s safe to say, this was probably out of his comfort zone, but he gave it his all, and it paid off.

Set mainly in a Paris train station, the story follows Hugo (Butterfield), a small orphan who lives in the station walls. He resorts to stealing from a small toyshop run by Papa George (Kingsley) and his daughter (Moretz), to try and fix a mysterious automaton left by his father before he died.

I won’t tell you much about the characters, but what I will tell you is this. The four main actors (Butterfield, Moretz, Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen), all play fantastic roles, and the standard of acting is of one that is very difficult to match. I feel like this movie has been Butterfield’s best so far in his career. He’s been in classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Wolfman, but in this he definitely shows us what he is capable of. I have to say though, the best performance doesn’t go to Asa Butterfield. Ben Kingsley has it in the bag for this. This becomes apparent as soon as we see his character. The way he moves and the way he can show a dozen feelings into one single facial expression really makes him stand out from the other actors. I have to admit, Kingsley seems to steal every scene that he is in.

You may have noticed by now, but if you haven’t, I’m a bit of a Chloe Moretz fan-boy, so I’m obviously going to mention something about her in this review. Moretz, being American, manages to keep a very natural British accent throughout the movie, which I’m sure is probably very hard to do. Her acting is first-rate as usual, and as this is one of her more serious roles (aside from Let Me In), this gives us an excellent gauge on her acting skills to date and how she’s developing into a very talented actress.

Cohen also seems to have stepped out of his comfort zone in this movie. It’s clear to me that this is something that he wouldn’t usually even dream of doing. Taking a break from his usual forte of comedies (Brüno, Borat, Ali G), he’s delved into a deeper and more serious role that I wasn’t sure he’d be able to play. I was very, very wrong. Cohen is a genuinely good actor in his other films, but when he acts seriously, it really shows that he is on par with some of the top-notch actors of today.

I don’t feel that I really have anything left to say about Hugo, apart from the fact that Scorsese has created a masterpiece. So if you haven’t seen it already, it’s a film that you should definitely go and buy when you get the chance, because I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.


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