Hugo

There is a saying in my family when it comes to watching movies, and that is ‘if it has an Oscar or was nominated for one, it’s either a tear jerker or downright boring!’  The only exceptions to the rule are films that fall under the animation and special effects categories.  As you know Hugo is nominated for 11 Oscars, but I wanted to see it because it looked like a beautiful enchanted adventure.  Well my sister and I got bored, and I don’t get bored at the movies often.  Half way through the film my sister and I had a conversation about the piece of tissue I had my 3d glasses resting on because I didn’t want a mark left on my nose by the glasses.  The film operates in two halves, the first part focusing on Hugo, the second part focusing on the mystery of Georges Méliès.  To my mind the story could have been greatly condensed, especially the leading up to Georges Méliès back story.  I really enjoyed the second half of the film, especially the referencing of early cinema.  My sister and I have Bachelors Degrees in English and Film and we enjoyed the references to the early years of film.  Especially seeing actual footage from other of Méliès works, and then seeing the fictional production of these works in the film, I really enjoyed that.  Unfortunately by then I was really bored, the pace was just too slow, so no matter how enjoyable I found the second half of the movie, I was still bored and restless.  I couldn’t help but think ‘I should have gone to see the Phantom Menace in 3D’.  The only thing stopping us from leaving the cinema was the fact that we had spent R65 to watch it, and couldn’t justify wasting the money by walking out.  Hugo was beautiful to look at, the scenes of Paris, the train station was a stunning set, and the many scenes that take place in the under belly of the station, with all its steam pipes, and the repairing of the big clocks, showing all the gears, made stunning visuals, but pretty to look at doesn’t mean enjoyable.  And I love Asa Butterfield, I’ve watched him in BBC’s Merlin, where he plays the cutest little ‘future doom’ for Arthur.  I also enjoyed him in Nanny McPhee Returns, and yes while I enjoyed his performance in Hugo, it still doesn’t save the film from the fact that I found it boring.  I was surprised and disappointed by Hugo, with equal amounts of boredom and enjoyment, but overall, I wasn’t very impressed by the narrative of the film.  It could have been told in a less meandering way, and the only excuse I can find for allowing this story to plod along as it did, is the fact that it is a Martin Scorsese film, and we all know that he doesn’t know how to make shorter films.

 

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