Saturday, December 3, 2011


84th Academy Award for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects

Fantasy adventure

Asa Butterfield: 12-year-old Hugo Cabret
Jude Law: Hugo's father, a clockmaker
Ray Winstone: Hugo's Uncle Claude
Sacha Baron Cohen: the Station Inspector
Ben Kingsley: Papa Georges Méliès, toy shop owner
Chloë Grace Moretz: his goddaughter, 12-year-old Isabelle
Christopher Lee: elderly bookseller Monsieur Labisse
Emily Mortimer: flowershop girl Lisette
Helen McCrory: Papa's wife Mama Jeanne

A family affair best seen in 3-D, this fairy tale about a boy who lives alone in a Paris train station is but half the story. Midway through we get to learn about one of history’s original filmmakers. Some of the old movie recreations are repetitive with the result the running time exceeds two hours, about a half hour too long in my view.

Apart from that interlude there is a magical quality about the film in keeping with traditional storytelling and it is engaging enough to keep even the youngest movie-goer attentive throughout.

for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking.

• From the opening scene as the camera swoops in from above we see that the train station is one with a clock tower. The Gare de Lyon train station is one of six large railway terminals in Paris. Most notable is the large clock tower atop one corner of the station which has 13 lines leading into the station, not six as seen in the opening shot.
• An exterior close-up of the clock shows it to be exactly 7 o’clock but moments later seen from inside the clock it is 7:15.
• The clock face has Arabic numbers whereas in reality they are Roman numerals.
• A steam train did indeed crash though a Paris train station in 1895 but it was the Gare Montparnasse not the Gare de Lyon.
• Until the Empire State Building was constructed in 1939, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure on earth so Hugo and Isabelle could not have looked down on it from inside the clock tower.

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