The book – The Invention of Hugo Cabret – was better than the film Hugo. But only because it’s an extraordinary book, both as a story and for its wonderful pencil drawings that fill this very thick volume. And I can’t help but think that despite being a bit of a mouthful, the original title would make the film sound more intriguing. I’m hoping the lack of audience today was due to time of day and location. This film deserves huge audiences.
The timing is odd. I’d expected it to be a Christmas film, but a release date in early December might well mean it doesn’t last that long. I would have saved it another two or three weeks, but was afraid of missing it altogether by doing so.
I chose to watch Hugo in 2D. Maybe I missed out, but I don’t think so. I’m also of the opinion that less use of CGI would have been preferable, but perhaps it would have been too big a job to find the right locations without it. Just a slightly plasticky feel to the townscapes and the railway station, which would have been nice to lose.
This is the story of orphan Hugo who lives in the walls of a Paris railway station looking after its clocks. He makes friends with Isabelle, whose guardian Papa Georges is an angry old man who can’t stand Hugo. The story slowly moves from their antagonism in the station, to the old man’s past and the childhood of movies. This is a work of fiction, so naturally the two stories meet, and everything ends happily.
That’s not a spoiler. Saying much more would be, so for anyone not familiar with the book, this is as much as you get. The end is big hanky time.
Pleasant change to have Ben Kingsley as someone nice. I’m used to him being one of the bad guys. Lots of great cameos by all sorts of people, and I especially enjoyed Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths. Christopher Lee is a charming bookshop owner, and even Sacha Baron Cohen wasn’t too dreadful in the end.
Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz as Hugo and Isabelle were perfect, and Chloë’s English accent passed muster with me. But then, what do I know?