Monday, November 28, 2011

Hugo (2011)

There weren't too many movies coming out this holiday season that I was more excited for than Hugo.  After all, the book was spectacular...a story told with both words and stunning illustrations, with the ability to enchant everyone from the ages of 9 to 99.  My big concern was whether even the great Martin Scorcese was up to the challenge of sustaining the magic that was created by Brian Selznick.

Two things made my spirits rise.  First, my sister, an indie movie critic, loved it.  She is not a huge fan of the big-budget box office blowouts, so this was huge.  Roger Ebert loved it too.  So yesterday, the kids and my parents went to see it.

You can't argue with the cast, with Asa Butterfield (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) as Hugo, Chloe Moretz (Let Me In, Kick-Ass) as Isabelle, Ben Kingsley (no explanation necessary) as Georges Melies, and Sasha Baron Cohen (Borat) as the Station Inspector.  Even greats like Christopher Lee and Jude Law had bit parts that supported the film.  (Correct me if I am wrong, but methinks I spied Johnny Depp as a street musician.  He is the producer after all.)

      



I won't talk too much about the plot.  If you are interested, here is my review of the book.  Suffice it to say that the screenplay stayed very true to the book.  I didn't see a thing out of place.  In fact, it was like the pictures on the page came to life, which made me extremely happy.  This book does not deserve to be sliced and diced and abbreviated.

Scorcese also gifted us the sensory experience of 1930's Paris...the lights, the music, the fashion, the food.  Oh, it was intoxicating!  But that was just the beginning of the fun.  The love of books, the love and preservation of old film, and the automaton!  Ever since I first read the book, I've been obsessed with this mechanical cyborg-looking thing that mysteriously draws pictures, writes poems, and seems like it is half-human.  I've watched the You Tube videos.  I drug my kids willy-nilly through the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to see the one that inspired Selznick.  The automaton created here was gorgeous.
















We debated whether to see the movie in 3D or not. My sister said she didn't think it was necessary. Plus, it costs about a mortgage payment to take a family to see a 3D movie these days. But in the end, we went for it. I knew that Scorcese did film this specifically for the 3D experience, not with gimmicky tricks, but for the effect of full-immersion. As a result, I wasn't just watching this film, I was IN it. I was IN the clock tower, or running through the streets of Paris dodging pedestrians, or standing outside with snow falling on me. I would highly recommend spending the extra money for the 3D experience.

27 comments:

Beth F said...

Oh gosh, I'm going to have to talk Mr. BFR into 3D -- usually not his favorite.

Nymeth said...

I'm waiting until I go home to watch this one... two more weeks! I can't wait. It sounds like the sensory experience alone would make it worth it.

bermudaonion said...

We wanted to see this on Thanksgiving, but it was only showing in 3D at Vance's and 3D makes me woozy, so we went with the Muppets instead. I still want to see this movie some kind of bad.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I got woozy at first too! But actually I was done being woozy by the time the 3-D previews had ended. I definitely agree with going for the 3-D!

Meg said...

Definitely want to go see this! My boyfriend gets super excited every time we see a preview, and it looks enchanting. I had no idea it was a book, I'm ashamed to say... though I shouldn't be surprised!

farmlanebooks said...

I'm so pleased this lived up to expectations! I've never seen a film in 3D (I normally wait for DVD) but perhaps I'll have to make an exception for this one. Luckily 2D and 3D are the same price here (both expensive!)

reviewsbylola said...

I must be living under a rock because I had no idea there was a movie coming out! I still need to read the book.

wordsandpeace said...

I loved the book so much, and am looking forward to seeing it, probably this week. Thanks for the 3D recommendation.
here is my review of the book, with a link to the trailer: http://wordsandpeace.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/review-59-the-invention-of-hugo-cabret/
And have you read Wonderstruck, the latest book by the same author? very good too: http://wordsandpeace.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/74-review-wonderstruck/

Marie said...

I can't wait to see this. Jeff took his family to see it over the weekend while I was working, can you believe it? So now he has to take ME to see it too! :-)

softdrink said...

I can"t see 3D so I absolutely loathe this trend of 3D movies. Especially since around here they usually don't offer the 2D version when they can charge the mortgage payment instead. So then I get all pissy and refuse to see the movie.
So it's not looking good for Hugo, which is a shame.

Alyce said...

I actually hadn't been interested at all in seeing the film because I liked the book so much and didn't know how it could possibly measure up. Now I want to see it.

Zibilee said...

What's this you say? My boyfriend makes a cameo appearance? Oh, now you have lit a fire under me to see this one my friend! I am so glad that you loved it and that it didn't let you down one little bit! I am off to see when I can get the husband and kids to the movies!

Kathleen said...

This one is going on my "must see" list for the holidays! I usually like to read the book and then see the movie but I am making an exception in this case!

ds said...

I am DYING to see this one, and yes, in 3-D. Mr. L-S adores 3-D. But first, I've gotta read the book...sigh...

Elisabeth said...

I now want to see this in 3D. I am ordering the book today because I must read it first before I see it, and the graphics are so great I want to own it!

heidenkind said...

So you liked it, then? ;)

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I have to read the book first...it's the law ;)

Danielle said...

Thanks for the heads-up on this one Sandy! It doesn't come out until January 12 in Australia, but I will look out for it.

Ti said...

I don't like 3D but when a movie is designed to be seen in 3D, then I usually enjoy it.

Did you know that they are re-releasing Top Gun but in 3D? Yep! I don't like Tom Cruise but that will be interesting.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

3D movies nowadays are incredible. Totally going to see this one this weekend!

caite said...

did not read the book...but you have sold me on the movie!

Julie P. said...

I think it was EW that loved this one. I need to find time for us to hit the theater!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I'm hoping I can go see this one sometimes this week. I loved the book and between the cast and director it just looks fantastic! I'm glad you suggested seeing it in 3D, I was going to skip that.

Michelle (my books. my life.) said...

You had me at Paris.

I have heard nothing but amazing things about this movie. I need to go see it right now.

Jenners said...

It seems like an odd choice to direct this film but I guess it spoke to him and he heard its true voice.

Trisha said...

I cannot wait to see this one! I'm glad to hear it's a winner!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I just read the book and loved it! I have only seen one 3D movie and really didn't enjoy it so much. I will have to think about seeing this in 3D. It would be fun to feel like I was in the movie.