To say Hugo is a visually beautiful and enchanting work of art would be an understatement. Hugo is a charming and spellbindingly nostalgic opus dedicated to the magic of cinema. With Oliver Twist elements and a Harry Potterish vibe, Hugo's story has potential to be the next Chronicles of Narnia or Peter Pan. The elegant tribute to the fantastical Georges Melies exhibits breathtaking cinematography and set designs. Its inertness, however, couldn't be masked by its aesthetic pleasure. Like the book, which depends equally on its pictures as it does on the words, the movie wouldn't be such a popular nominee at the Oscars if it weren't for Dante Ferretti and Robert Richardson.
Having said all this, I have to confess that I didn't watch Hugo on the big screen... or in 3D. I am fully aware of the difference in impact that would have had on my experience. With the whole 3D craze still going on, many movies are being made for the 3D screen even though their story doesn't rely on it. Watching Hugo on my television at home I found myself constantly aware of the lingering shots (specifically timed for the 3D screen) and distracted by it's slow pace. I kept waiting for the story to start and was trying to grasp a hold of anything coherent. I truly believe that if the movie had adopted a more focused plot it would have been much more successful. I am intrigued to read the book now and see whether it shares the same lack of direction as the film.
Still, if I ever create anything half as good as Martin Scorsese's Hugo I will die happy!
Next up? A Trip to The Moon and a look into the treasury of early cinema...