I did not like Hugo. I felt that the film overextended its purpose, a love letter to George Melies. I appreciate his works, yes, but perhaps its a sign of our times, I’m not as impressed by the idea of film as the characters were. It is impressive, it does allow for visual stimulation on an entirely different magnitude than theatre, but at the end of the day, I cannot appreciate it as much as Hugo.
The characterisation is too muddled, pushed aside for the purposes of praising George Melies. There were several scenes where Hugo could have easily told the truth, and not have had his notebook stolen, nor continually been hunted by Sacha Baron Coen. “I wind and maintain the clocks.” Simple little sentence. Papa George was all over the place, being mean then kind in rapid turns.The only character I ever liked was the Station Inspector (Constable?). He was an orphan, injured in the war. A rather sad backstory, but played for comic relief.
The acting and casting however, was impressive. We saw a wide range of actors, from the aforementioned Sacha Baron Coen, to Saruman (he has a name, it isn’t as cool as Saruman), to ostensibly Leonardo DiCaprio.
I have a problem with the clockwork motif, but that is, admittedly, me nitpicking. The automaton was creepy (just staring and staring, with its cold, black, lifeless eyes), and structurally, did not make sense. That key wasn’t attached to anything.
Personally, not a good film, but then again, I’m a cynic.