HUGO: a response to the film

If you look at what “Hugo” won (5 awards) and what they lost (6 awards), I agree with all 11 choices. And yet, having just seen the film for the first time, I feel utterly unsatisfied and feel bait-and-switched by the trailers and what the film delivered.

Who is this film for? The young? The families? The cineophiles? The Scorcese fans? All four categories will be let down in some small way.

Remember this about me — I’m a sap for good “magic” and I can certainly suspend my disbelief and become an unusually acute empathetic viewer. But this started with great intrigue and 30 minutes in just didn’t deliver, continuing to go where I didn’t see it going, and drifting from being about Hugo. This is about the movies. Change the title, Scorcese. Every character I could describe as well or better than Hugo, including all supporting roles. Alas, I digress…

Nothing is horrible about this film. Everything is good or better, but nothing “dazzled”. It’s a 2 hr 5 min film that is more about George Melies, the french director/writer/actor/producer, than anybody else. Hugo, the boy, existing in the film is merely happenstance. Sure he found a family, but the story line with his father is incomplete. Giving the nominations “Hugo” recieved, I’m stunned with the film I just saw. If any one else directed this thing, or if it wasn’t about George Melies, “Hugo” would have been just another family film with little to no buzz — and while that sounds like a “dis”, it’s really not. It would have been an improvment since it would then not be trying to do so many things and would have recieved a more modest amount of awards, like two. Other films in Hugo’s categories at the 84th Academy Ceremony deserved it just as much if not more. Just for example, Cinematography could have easily gone to “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” or “War Horse”, and Sound Editing really should have been a shoe-in for “Drive” or “Dragon Tattoo” again.

(for all winners, go here.)

In closing: over-hyped. See it on the Redbox for $1.27

Went into it dying to love it and recommend it to everyone. I can’t. It’s worth watching once. Nothing more. People giving it more than a 7.5/10 must be doing so on merit of it’s aesthetic pleasure and technical accomplishments, which are, of course, excellent. But still… (7/10)


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Filed under Academy Awards, Movie Reviews

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