|Love a good movie on a rainy afternoon|
I am not one for the theater much anymore, between the prices and the crowds I prefer to have my cinema time in the comfort of my own home. Recently I had received my red envelope in the mail and was excited to see it was a film I had wish to see since the holidays. I tend to gravitate towards period pieces, imports and of course silents. This time it was a period piece that in a round about way I was to find out was about the beginning of the silent film era. Hugo.
Hugo is a 2011 American drama film based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret about a boy who lives alone in a Paris railway station in the 1930's(instant attraction for me!). Hugo, an orphan who lives in the walls of the train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. Martin Scorsese directed the film and it was written by John Logan.Co-production of the film was done by Graham King's GK Films and Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil. The film stars Asa Butterfield, as young Hugo. Ben Kingsley Georges Méliès, the toy shop owner and former filmmaker. Chloë Grace Moretz as as Isabelle, Georges' goddaughter. As the Inspector who goes by the name of Gustave Sacha Baron Cohen. Ray Winstone plays Hugo's Uncle Claude Cabret, and Hugo's father, a clock maker is played by Jude Law. The cast includes many more bit players such as Emily Mortimer,who plays Lisette, the flower girl and Christopher Lee who plays a bookshop owner by the name of Monsieur Labisse.
I really did not know more than what I just shared, but I did know the name of Ben Kingsley's character from a post I had done many months ago about a silent film , A Trip to the Moon or Voyage to the Moon,* dating from 1902 written, directed and acted in by Georges Méliès! The movie contains a scene that many silent movie buffs recognize readily,the famous "Man in the Moon". Hugo is of course fictional, but the movie spends the latter half of it's run time discovering this fact and then exploring it and then paying homage to the man behind this movie from the early years of cinema. *watch it here
The movie has both moments and light and dark. The plot often lacks as does the writing and was beyond me why if it was in Paris, why did it sound as if they were in England! That fact aside, the movie as a whole however is delightful to the eye and to the heart. Oh and it did get rather good reviews and a few awards as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it and for anyone who loves a bit of whimsy and fantasy from time to time, loves a period piece, then it is well worth renting and spending part of an afternoon with a bowl of pop corn and stepping into another time and place.
Just a few stills ...
|Hugo inside the clock tower|
|The train station in Paris|
|Hugo and Isabelle, a critical piece is found|
to a puzzle
|Busy day as always at the station,|
a world on it's own.
|What is the message?|
|Georges Méliès with Hugo at the toy store|
|Early days of cinema|
*photos via a google search for HUGO.Information gathered from web sites above and personal research.