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Average User Score: 7.7Dec 24, 2011I doubt Hugo will ever be called a masterpiece, but it is an extremely enjoyable movie. This isn't a "comedy" and it's not anI doubt Hugo will ever be called a masterpiece, but it is an extremely enjoyable movie. This isn't a "comedy" and it's not an action-adventure. There are no gangsters or drug dealers. There are no evil wizards to save the world from. The troubled youngsters in this film are intelligent, well-read, mostly well-spoken kids who just need a chance to lead normal lives. They're not teen prostitutes or drug mules or reincarnated princesses. Huge is just not that kind of movie. What it is, is a calm, mature, lovingly crafted indulgence in the passion and magic of filmmaking. Everything in this film is there to show you what going to the movies used to be about. There's also a subtheme about people learning to accept their limitations and transcend them that will either be inspiring, or, to judge from several of the reviews here, infuriating and humiliating. Oh well.
The acting isn't supposed to be profound or larger-than-life. Again, that's not what this movie is about. This is about extraordinary people inhabiting ordinary lives.
Other reviewers have mentioned all the coincidences and plot gimmicks in Hugo. True, but so what? Again, the film was constructed to show how people in a certain place at a certain time recapture some magic in their lives. It doesn't really matter just how they got to that place. Hugo is not a grimy slice-of-reality flick that wallows in all the sordid details of the characters' dysfunctional lives. Here Scorsese isn't interested in showing how and why his characters self-destruct, he's interested in showing how people OVERCOME their past to become something better. Hugo's an orphan...but that doesn't mean he has to hide from the world, and it doesn't mean he serves no useful purpose. Cohen's character is a middle-aged bully with a gimpy leg...but that doesn't mean he can't learn to be nice. Papa George is a bitter old toymaker...but that doesn't mean he can't be proud of what he's accomplished.
That's the uplifting message of Hugo, and it's a message wrapped in the most gorgeous 3D cinematography I've ever seen. The only thing I didn't really like about it was the British accents (which, contrary to a previous reviewer's claim, were natural to the mostly English cast), but that's a minor gripe and apart from Cohen's dock-worker honk, the accents really don't detract from the story at all.
Highly recommended for those who can concentrate on the screen for longer than thirty seconds without something blowing up or zooming around.… Expand