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January 27, 2012



In the run up to the Oscars, Martin Scorsese’s, 2011 film HUGO has gotten eleven nominations; thus, making it one of the strongest contenders to sweep the event. There is no question that Mr. Scorsese has established himself as one of the leading movie directors of the past several decades … so winning another Oscar again, wouldn’t be farfetched.

But writing a review about this film was not in the cards for me. However, after having a conversation with my friend Tito, who has quite a bit of film making experience, I realized that HUGO is one of three French related films being nominated this year. And two of them are set in Paris. I am referring to HUGO and director Woody Allen’s delicious film: Midnight in Paris. I will review it in an upcoming post, shortly.

During an NBC’s Today Show interview  Mr. Scorsese acknowledged  that his  youngest daughter encouraged him to do a movie based on the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese

Of course, the third French film by director Michel Hazanavicius is The Artist. By the way, it was shot in Hollywood; therefore, it qualifies as an American movie for the Oscars.

Scorsese went all out with HUGO. It is 3D, it has CGI special effects galore, i.e. everything but the kitchen sink. All of it superbly done. Acting was impeccable as well the script. I imagine that this movie must really come to life in an IMAX theatre. I saw it on a small screen.

The story centers on a 12 year old boy who becomes an orphan, in and around the end of the 19th century. His father was a watchmaker but also a tinkerer. He is placed in the custody of his uncle who maintains huge clocks at Gare Montparnasse or the central train station. His uncle dies suddenly and the young boy keeps maintaining all the clocks so that people do not become aware that his uncle has gone missing and therefore he is not thrown into an orphanage. Memories of his loving father haunting him, as he tries to follow in his footsteps.

Obviously the plot thickens and it has some unexpected and surprising twists and turns which make it most interesting. And as I have done in past, I avoid providing “movie spoilers.” So you will have to see the movie or check Wikipedia or IMDB to get more information. Apropos, HUGO is rated with a high score of 8.2 at IMDB.

And here we come to the part of the story in which it is intertwined with one of the precursors of cinema called Georges Méliès. I was not aware of this early contributor of cinema. He was an illusionist, a prodigious filmmaker and prolific inventor who might have gone unnoticed by history, but luckily in the end he was recognized as a major contributor to the movie business. You can look up a good bio in Wikipedia. In HUGO you will see some of the works from this great man; thank goodness!

Following is the official movie previews. Enjoy!

Movie Trailer (2011)


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