So a few days ago I checked Rotten Tomatoes as I tend to do everyday, and I was astonished to see two new releases at 97 and 98% respectively. I was already planning to see The Muppets, (and did, I'll write briefly about it in another blog..) but I had no plans or intentions to see Hugo until I read the hype. While I loved Martin Scorsese's last film Shutter Island as well as all of star Chloe Moretz's films, I found the trailer somewhat amusing but pretty underwhelming. If I saw it at all it'd be in a $ theater or on redbox...and I certainly wouldn't be paying to see it in 3D. But then I read the reviews... And so, I got myself to the cinema and paid the price for a 3D matinee to see what all the fuss was about....and honestly, I had no idea really what to expect.
For some reason, the trailer gave me the impression that this would be some magical type film in the vein of Narnia...but more like some sort of weird magical rip off haha. What I found was that the film was much more rooted in reality. In fact, it was rooted in a few aspects of my favorite realities :) The first was that the film was so incredibly beautiful to look at. Why? Because it was set in my second home Paris...and the 3D just lit it up. Secondly, I was actually completely unaware that the movie was basically a huge homage to the history of cinema. I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of freaking out at seeing all these things I've learned about in classes on how my beloved medium came to be and then seeing it up there on a modern screen...it was amazing. (Actually, the moments in The Muppets where they broke the rule of addressing the audience directly and talked about film elements were among my favorites..I just love films and I love talking films in movies...if that makes sense haha) I don't know that I'd call the film a masterpiece because it certainly could have been a bit tighter. I really struggled with the pacing....but once it finally hit its movie loving rhythm I just ate it up.
Movies about the power of movies always hold a special place in my heart, and this one did make me tear up a few times because of how thankful I really am for it....cheesy I know, but it's true. Hugo joins the likes of films such as the beautiful Cinema Paradiso, the goofy and ridiculous Be Kind Rewind, the brilliant Kaufman film Adaptation, Tim Burton's classic Ed Wood and the Woody Allen ode to the cinema, The Purple Rose of Cairo. There's just something special to me when filmmakers show how much they really love the product they're making, and that to them...it's more than a product. It's art, and it has a purpose. Whether the purpose is to entertain, teach or inspire, it makes me happy when I know that the person making it sincerely cares about their craft and the ways they can connect with an audience through it. Because when I know they care, it makes it a lot easier for me to care about what they have to say too...and any message that praises the true potential of film is pretty okay in my book.
So as for Hugo, seeing film history up on the screen that I've both been learning about and watching for years was pretty amazing....especially seeing them in such a modern medium as 3D. The film was beautiful enough to warrant a viewing on its own, but for any lover of film it's a must see. You just gotta be patient during the film's lulls. I think I shall give it a 8.5/10. So....what are your favorite movies about movies? Sunset Boulevard? Singin' in the Rain? Something else not mentioned here? Do tell!