Less than a week to go until the big night and I’ve pretty well in getting through a lot of the movies that are up for the big awards. Today I am spending a little time on the film that has been nominated for the most awards with 11 is the adventure tale Hugo.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, which was a surprising revelation to me to begin with as I thought this style of film was quite a departure for him, having known him for films like Casino, Goodfellas and of course Taxi Driver.
The film’s story is the tale of a boy called Hugo Cabret who is played by Asa Butterfield. Hugo lives within the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. He is an orphan and winds the clocks which he also maintains due to his knowledge of the mechanics of machines. His father (Jude Law) taught him a lot about them and when he was alive they worked together on a clockwork automaton which Hugo continues to work on after his father’s death. He finds himself wrapped up in a mystery concerning the automaton and its creator.
Filmed in a very distinct style, Scorsese captures the essence of French filmmaking of yester year and there are a lot of section in the film that appear like silent movies, yet are hot at the same time, but if there had been no audio, they would not have been out-of-place in the 1930s. The special effects are excellent and some of the scene changes are nicely done. The cast is full of famous faces such as Ben Kingsley, Francis de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, Ray Winstone, Sacha Baron Cohen and Christopher Lee, but in my opinion I thought pretty much all of these big names with the exception of Kingsley and Cohen were seriously underused.
The other aspect I found frustrating was the plot. The film makes out to be an epic adventure movie, but I thought that the story was quite thin when we see past the initial synopsis and that disappointed me. I’m not sure why it has been nominated for so many Oscars and it has been largely snubbed at the big award ceremonies thus far as a film. I think it could be this year’s surprise let down at the Academy Awards with a lot of the other films taking the big awards instead.
I feel that the film could have been a lot more, but a basic story void and a distinct lack of excitement for a movie billed as an adventure drama leaves me to give this film only a 5/10 and most of that is for the special effects, which have been seen before. There is nothing ground-breaking here. Enjoy the trailer in the meantime.