Hugo (2011)


Adventure | Drama


Martin Scorsese




Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg, Christopher Lee, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, Marco Aponte, Kevin Eldon, Gulliver McGrath, Angus Barnett, Ben Addis, Emil Lager, Robert Gill


Hugo (Asa Butterfield), an orphan who lives in a Paris railway station, gets interested and tangled in a mystery involving an automaton left by his dead father (Jude Law).


Martin Scorsese making a children's film? I didn't see that coming, and I'm sure neither did you. Another thing I did not see coming was how disappointing "Hugo" would have been. While it arguably is a visual splendor - and you don't need the 3D to see and say that -, the film pretty much lacks substance.

The biggest problem is the execution. What a mess! The story really looked great on paper but apparently something went wrong because what was supposed to be a magical, engaging adventure filled with mystery and suspense ended up being a tedious, heartless story that goes on and on where nothing interesting happens for most of the time. And the plot holes definitely didn't help.

Another problem is the lack of warmth and emotions in the relationships between several of the main characters. It all feels so cold. And I believe the reason, other than Scorsese not doing his job well, is the main actor, Asa Butterfield, who looks like a piece of wood most of the time and makes you wonder whether it's an animation film you're watching or those are real people.

Anyway, despite all these emotional problems, Scorsese still manages to make a tribute to cinema while expressing his love for this art, and with some breathtaking scenes, he is able to show the sense of wonder the first audiences must have experienced.

And like I mentioned before, visually the film is spectacular. It's not only the special effects, but also the fantastic set design and costumes, and the stunning cinematography. The music as well contributes in providing the film with a little magic that should have been provided by the story.

Worth of a mention are Ben Kingsley who delivers a quite touching performance as an early film pioneer. Easily the best performance of the film, and Sasha Baron Cohen who is surprisingly effective as the Station Inspector.


  1. L'ho trovato molto semplice, ma delizioso. Un bell'omaggio al cinema

    1. Sinceramente mi aspettavo di piĆ¹ da Scorsese