Thursday, February 2, 2012

Oscar countdown

With the nominees announced and the Oscars later this month it is time for me to watch as many of the nominated movies and performances that I can before show time. I have been doing this for the past few years and I have to say although I’m not a member of the academy it is important for me to watch and I enjoy every minute.
As my countdown to the Oscars quest begins I got the chance to see the most beautiful and magical movie of the year. Everything about this film was amazing from the look and acting to the story itself. I felt as if I was transported to the world of 1930s France, it is here where a young orphaned boy lives within a large clock at a busy train station. As he works to keep the clocks running on time he watches the other “residents” of the station. There is an older woman who sits with her small dog at her café table, a man who everyday tries to get to know her better but is turned away by the dog’s biting and barking, a quiet girl who sells flowers, a train police inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) who’s job it is to keep out the riff-raff and a elderly man (Academy award winner Sir Ben Kingsley) who owns a toy shop and tinkers with the broken ones. If you haven’t figured it out yet I am writing about the 11 time nominated film Hugo.
This movie is directors Martin Scorsese first time at 3D and as much as I may have disliked the medium in the past here Mr. Scorsese makes it work. The story is sweet, sad and uplifting. After the death of his father, Hugo (Asa Butterfield) takes the mechanical man known as an automaton with him and joins his uncle to continue his learning as a clock smith. His Uncle disappears and once he is alone Hugo has to learn how to fend for himself and gets good at avoiding getting noticed by anyone including the inspector. That ends when he is caught by the toy shop owner as he tries to steal some parts for the automaton.  The man takes a notebook that Hugo carries with him and lets him go but Hugo needs that notebook back and follows the man to his home where Hugo discovers the man has a goddaughter named Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) together the two end up on a adventure, like in the books Isabelle likes to read, and soon discover who this man, her father really is.
            As wonderful as the story is the magic of the film also comes from the incredible look. The setting is beautiful and the 3D effects make Hugo’s world come alive. Whether it’s outside as the snow falls and you can feel the cold air as you try and catch snowflakes on your tongue or ducking and running with Hugo through the clocks as the wheels grind and the minutes tick by. From the smoke from the trains to the clothes worn by each character every detail is as important as the last.
            On a personal note I admit I got very emotional while watching this film. I laughed, cried and smiled all throughout and by the end as I applauded I was glad to be wearing the 3D glasses in the dark so that no one could see. Hugo is an excellent example of a movie about the art of filmmaking. From the beginning to the closing credits this movie was a great ride and it is well worth the money and time to go and see Hugo.  

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