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Thursday, May 3, 2012
Review by Toby Lattimore
When the Director Martin Scorsese announces a film there are great expectations and Hugo is no exception, especially when it’s a family tale with a huge budget.
The stunning sets greet us and we meet Hugo, played by the convincing Asa Butterfield, in the first scene of the film as he navigates the walls of the station, this being his home and where he winds the clocks. A past film master, George Melies, played by the eminent Ben Kingsley, who is dejected and now owns the toy shop soon runs into Hugo and we are led through a story of historical tragedy, post-war Paris and the origins of film.
Sacha Baron Cohen appears as the strange station bobby and the hunter of homeless children, a potential threat for the orphaned Hugo and the adopted Isabelle, Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) acts as Hugo’s companion on his voyage of discovery. But the pace stutters as Scorsese attempts to weave into the plot the history of film rather than focusing on developing the characters. There are too many silences and moments of grief, too many questioning looks and the doors remain closed on what is a magical world.
Hugo has all the ingredients you could want in a memorable family film and at times is exhilarating and mysterious, but disappointingly the picture that it draws is incomplete.