Hugo: A Winter Fairy Tale that will Warm Your Heart

Martin Scorsese’s historical adventure Hugo takes all the elements of a modern fairy tale, sprinkles them with a little Dickens and wraps them in some of the most astounding visuals cinema has seen in the last decade.

What’s it about? Based on the book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”, the film follows a young orphan (Butterfield) who lives behind the clockface inside a Paris train station in the 1930s. After his father’s (Law) death, he dedicates his time and effort to fixing things and through a connection with a young girl (Moretz), uncovers a long-kept secret..

What’s it really about? Everyone’s got a purpose in life, even if it isn’t always clear to them.

Pick if:

  • You’re looking for a family friendly film to watch during the holiday season: Hugo has all the making’s of a children’s film, but Scorsese’s masterful storytelling will draw adults in just as well
  • You want a winter film to snuggle up with on the sofa or in bed
  • You’re susceptible to nostalgia: Hugo is brimming with the romance of the past, particularly in the scenes that involve the toy booth. Thanks to the film’s detailed set design, you will feel like you just stepped off the train at Montparnasse station yourself
  • You’re a fan of modern fairy tales: in many ways, Hugo reminded me of the Harry Potter films, or a Dicken’s novel. Although it is grounded in reality and does without elements of magic or fantasy, there’s an irresistible enchantment to this film
  • You love old clocks. There’s a lot of them in this film
  • You’re a true cineast: Hugo pays hommage to a pioneer of early cinema, Georges Meliés. In telling his story, it gives you an idea of how much vision and inventiveness was required to make a film at the turn of the century – you might even say that the early filmmakers were wizards in their own right
  • You appreciate lush aesthetics: Hugo is one of the most visually stunning films you’ll ever see. It’s no surprise that it won Best Cinematography, Art Direction and Visual Effects at the Academy Awards

Most memorable scene: Hugo and Isabel look inside her godfather’s armoire and find a box. When Isabel stumbles and drops the box, it bursts open, sending all of Georges drawings flying through the air in slow motion.

Most memorable quote: “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. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”

Where can I watch? Amazon, Maxdome, iTunes as well as Netflix Australia, Argentina, Brazil and many other countries

Hugo (2011): Directed by Martin Scorsese, running-time 2h 6mins.; starring Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game), Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass), Ben Kingsley (Gandhi), Jude Law (The Holiday), Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat).

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