I had somewhat heard of Hugo close to the year of 2011. It’s rather odd to believe it’s been that many years since then. As I’ve mentioned before, I think Chole Grace Moretz is one of the most talented actresses ever. So while she is now a woman, she’s had a healthy career since she was just a little girl. By the time Hugo came out she already was quite well known. I think why I was so hesitant to see Hugo was becuase I had no idea what it was even about. I expected something more on the realm of fantasy but this one is actually more based on history and it’s set in France during the year 1931 which was between World War I and World War II.
The story’s hero is Hugo Cabret, who is a young orphan boy who lives in a clock tower at a train station. Hugo once had a loving father but he died in a terrible fire. He then lived with his horrible uncle who was a notable drunk. He luckily taught Hugo how to run the clocks, and when Claude dies, Hugo takes over his job so nobody notices Claude is missing. If Hugo is discovered to be an orphan, then he’ll go into a rather horrible orphanage system. So he often has to hide from the police and other grown-ups. But as a penniless orphan, it’s difficult to do as he often has to take things to survive.
Hugo wants to rebuild an invention his father was trying to fix before his death. He ends up taking small mechanical parts from Georges Melies who runs a toy booth. The old man catches Hugo and makes him face justice. But he doesn’t call the notorious Inspector Gustave Daste, but rather takes his beloved notebook. Hugo doesn’t out-right say why he wants the notebook back so badly, but Melies stands his ground. Hugo tries to get Melies’ adopted daughter Isabelle to get his notebook back. Isabelle doesn’t try to do anything sneaky, so if Hugo wants the notebook back then he’ll have to do things Isabelle’s way.
Hugo did really well with critics, and even earned quite a few Oscar nominations including Best Picture but lost to The Artist. I will say I didn’t quite think the movie was that Oscar worthy. It’s very well-done but I didn’t think the story moved very much until about half-way. I did really like the friendship between Hugo and Isabelle. I was also pleased to see the movie go into the early era of movie making (with the focus about French movies) as that’s an era that is hardly known by many today.