Hugo (2011)


A young orphan unlocks the secret of the life of a bitter old toy vendor after he tries to steal from his shop.

Martin Scorsese tries his very best to ape Jean-Pierre Jeunet in this sickly-sweet homage to the life and work of cinema pioneer Georges Méliès which, despite its creative use of 3D and CGI effects and potentially interesting subject matter, just did not work for me. The story centres virtually exclusively around stereotypical urchin Asa Butterfield and his Enid Blyton-esque, jolly hockey-sticks playmate Chloe Moretz and as such the tone of the film is aimed squarely at children. In fact the saccharine soaked, manipulative and oh-so predictable script is very much like that of an animated feature; as is the weakest of the weak slapstick provided by Sacha Baron Cohen whose performance seems to be channelling Peter Sellers and Peter Cook by way of ‘Allo ‘Allo, and he is awful. Ben Kingsley does provide some quality support however and the section that recreates Méliès’ work is by far the best part of the film, but it is also far too short-lived for my liking.

Hugo basically left me very cold and rather bored, although I suspect that may be purely because it’s just not my cup of tea.



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