And this review begins with the very appropriate phrase given to us by the credentials of this movie:
"Martin Scorcese is making a family movie."
And right there, you have all the impetus you need to see today's movie.
Oh, by the way, before I get to it... a spoiler warning:
In order to properly talk about the movie, I will have to spoil the plot. So here's a spoiler warning, and don't take it lightly, whatever you do.
Okay, with that out of the way, let's get to today's movie.
Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is a boy who lives alone in a train station managing all their clocks. Along the way, he attempts to fix an automaton that his father (Jude Law) found in a museum. However, when he comes across Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) at a toy shop in his train station, things suddenly happen, and then he finds himself going on an adventure with Georges' goddaughter Isabelle (Chloe Grace-Moretz) that leads him to many new places.
So, here are a couple things to note about this movie.
1) No, they don't mean that kind of adventure that so many movies these days try to force into their plots.
2) *here be spoilers* For those of you who know your film history backwards and forward, yes, this is that Georges Méliès.
Yes, this is a movie about movies, though more specifically, it's about other things pertaining to the movies. Don't trust the trailers here: the big whimsical stuff comes less from Hugo's escapades and more from what he and Isabelle discover on their little adventure: that Isabelle's godfather was once a great film-maker, was revolutionary for his time as being the godfather of special effects, and other things like that. *Here end the spoilers*
And honestly, there's something about that which comes across as a breath of fresh air in the family movie genre. Yes, there's the usual capery stuff that comes up with these movies, but they're not the main focus of the movie after a while. While it's a tonal shift that may surprise some, I found that it lent itself to a certain element of charm that I think is missing from the genre these days, and it becomes engaging for a totally different reason than you'd think.
And as well, the whole visual aesthetic works. I'll go out on a limb here and say that you definitely should see this movie in 3D: I'm not normally for the format, but this movie sports one of the best uses of 3D I've ever seen in a movie. The style is also incredibly vivid and quite pleasing to look at.
So overall? I suggest you all go see Hugo. It's a very charming, engaging movie that does things differently. And the things it does differently work really well for the movie, and so it becomes a fresh new experience for everyone. Go take your kids to see this over the Holiday season. Trust me, you won't regret it.
A must-see picture of the year.
This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.