When Hugo came out in 2011, I had absolutely no interest in seeing the film. What could be so entertaining about juvenile film about a little boy who lives in a train station? I couldn't have been more wrong. Little did I know, this film was an homage to the beginning of cinema and George Melies. Ever since I started taking film studies classes when I added my film studies minor, I have become fascinated with all things film. My professor in my history of film class brought up Hugo multiple time when we were talking about the birth of cinema, so I knew I had to see the movie.
In 1930s Paris, Hugo Cabret has been living in the walls of the train station ever since his father died, leaving him an orphan. Determined to fix an automaton his father was working on, Hugo uncovers secrets he had never known had existed while finding a true friend along the way.
This movie was just…magical. I can't think of a better word to describe the world that Martin Scorsese has created with this little boy living in a train station. I absolutely adored Hugo and his obsession with tinkering and fixing his father's automaton. The world he lives in is so whimsical, fantastic, and adventure-filled from the very beginning of the movie. I was fascinated with his life and was immersed in his journey towards unlocking a secret that ended up having to do with the birth and magic of cinema.
Since I had already learned about George Melies in my film history class, it was fascinating being able to watch his story unfold as if it were currently happening. I've actually already seen A Trip to the Moon twice, so I loved how I was able to see them "discover" such an important piece of film history. The recreation of Melies' filming of his movies was simply magical and I was mesmerized with the film history being portrayed in this film. I was able to pick up on a bunch of references to other early silent films as well, which made the experience of watching this film that much more magical.
Any fan of film history absolutely has to see this film. Scorsese truly honors Melies and his contributions to film history in a fun, unique way. The story created around Hugo Cabret's life is impossible not to love and I know I'm not going to forget that little boy anytime soon. For a magical story about a boy who likes to tinker and discovers the magic of cinema, you have to watch Hugo.