After my journey into the past with A Trip to the Moon last week, and mentioning Hugo, I figured I would have that be my Movie of the Week this week.
I love movies about movies. In the hands of someone who is so devotedly in love with the art of cinema and its history, Martin Scorsese masterfully brought us into the past and gave us a lesson on the early days of cinema and the change from realism to formalism.
For those who did not see Hugo back in 2011, it won 5 Oscars for Cinematography, Sound Editing and Mixing, Visual Effects, and Art Direction. These were all rightfully deserved. It is a feast for the eyes.
Taking us back into a Parisian train station in the 1930s, Hugo is about, well, Hugo (Asa Butterfield), an orphaned boy living in said train station. His father was killed and all he has left is a automaton, which Hugo struggles to complete. Along his journey, he meets a fellow adventurer, Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), and the two try to complete the automaton and discover its secrets. Of course, as I already said, this is a movie about movies. Most specifically about Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley), the founder of formalism in movies. We learn about his life and his love for the movies, his decline, and how he was the most important filmmaker in the early 1900s (until D.W. Griffith came around that is).
This is also a big departure from Scorsese’s foul-mouthed and adult-themed films, but it is great nonetheless.
The movie also boasts a delightful supporting cast, including Sacha Baron Cohen, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, and Christopher Lee
So, if you have not seen this wonderful and quite educational movie about the early days of cinema, do yourself a favor and check it out. I do believe it is on Netflix but I may be wrong.