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From Jacksonville Beach, FL

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Hugo," a perfect movie

                                         Train wreck at Montparnasse Station, Paris 1895.
                                         The wreck is shown in Hugo as a nightmare of the boy.
                                          (This photo is the public domain. )

     Fearful that Hugo would leave the movie theaters before we could see it in 3D, we finally watched it this weekend.  We were not disappointed. It is a wonderful movie, the kind that makes you feel good as you leave the theater.  It is nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award.  I hope it wins.  
    Hugo is an orphan boy who lives in the innards of the main clock at Montparnasse Station in Paris. He maintains the clock after the death of his uncle who previously had the job.  No one knows he is the clock keeper.  He is a most talented boy who likes "to fix" things as his father did.  Interestingly, George Me'lie's, a magician who became an early film pioneer, is a toy vendor in the station.  Through a long procession of events and circumstances Hugo and Me'lie's meet and eventually are friends.  
    You may have seen photos of  Me'lie's  film showing the man in the moon being hit by a rocket ship.  He was truly an innovator and imaginative pioneer in a time when movies were as new and exciting as computers and the internet were to us a few years ago.  
    Hugo's nemesis is the police inspector who patrols the train station.  He is played by Sacha
Baron Cohen, who is delightfully mean and awful.  Ben Kingsley plays Me'lie's.  The setting is the 1930's, but goes back and forth into the late 1800's when Me'lie's was at his film making peak.  The train station setting is realistic but with a golden light that creates an other worldly feeling.  We come to know some of the people who work there.  Their stories are told with a few deft visuals and bits of conversation.  
   Hugo believes everyone in the world has a purpose and must find that purpose.  He finally decides his is to "fix things."  In the movie, his greatest accomplishment is how he "fixes" George Me'lie's legacy.  Me'lie's  felt useless, forgotten and old until Hugo came into his life.        While the action of the movie is from the point of view of Hugo and the orphaned goddaughter of Me'lie's, it is not a children's movie  Even though it is based on Brian Selznick's children's novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  
   The 3D aspect of the film is done very well.  It is not 3D of tricks as some action 3D movies are.  It is a wonderful enhancement that creates reality.  
    The movie is delightful. Directed by Martin Scorsese and produced by Johnny Depp, how could it go wrong.  I loved it.  You might too.

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