DVD: Hugo (U)
Friday 06 April 2012
There's a common misconception that Martin Scorsese's most compelling films only deal with the Mob, but three of his finest – After Hours, The King of Comedy and The Age of Innocence – barely have a hoodlum in sight.
And neither does Hugo, a sumptuous assault on the senses and a love letter to the early days of cinema. It's Paris in 1931 and lonely 12-year-old Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is taken under the wing of a sozzled uncle (Ray Winstone, in a blink-or-you'll-miss-it performance) when his kindly horologist father (Jude Law) perishes in a fire. He's forced to reside behind Paris' Gare Montparnasse and is tasked with servicing an exquisite clock and pilfering from the station platform for his food. He constantly tries to avoid the vindictive station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), a martinet who is fixated with sending urchins to the orphanage.
Hugo is obsessed with fixing a broken automaton his father owned; he's convinced it has a vital message to impart. However, he manages to lose his precious notebook containing instructions on how fix the automaton to Ben Kingsley's curt toy-shop owner, a certain Georges Méliès. The former film innovator has fallen on hard times ("I'm just a broken, wind-up toy") and is desperate to forget his film-making past. It's clear that Hugo and Méliès need each other.
Hugo, based on Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is a gentle, very old-fashioned children's film.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 4 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 5 New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Cruel Woman in Black prank sees cinema-goers terrified by movie poster - watch their reactions
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Christmas TV guide 2014: The best shows to watch from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food