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Hugo: the Movie

Updated on March 23, 2019
James A Watkins profile image

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with three non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

Hugo: The Movie

Hugo is a spectacular film that represents the crowning achievement in the career of Martin Scorsese. The movie was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and took home five Oscars. Hugo received universal acclaim but disappointed at the box office, falling short of breaking even on the $150 million investment. Hugo is the first picture I have seen since the 1990s that I consider one of the best ever produced.

My top-ten favorite films include Forrest Gump; Braveheart; Gone With the Wind; Saving Private Ryan; The Wizard of Oz; Ben Hur; The Godfather; The Ten Commandments; Titanic; and The Jerk. I give honorable mention to Lord of the Rings; Singing in the Rain; Patton; Gladiator; and Alien.

Hugo the movie is based on a picture book by Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I have not read the book, but it features 284 pictures among its 533 pages. Hugo is a beautiful blend of fact and fiction.

THIS AUTOMATON IS ONE OF THE STARS OF "HUGO"
THIS AUTOMATON IS ONE OF THE STARS OF "HUGO"
MARTIN SCORSESE AS A YOUNG MAN
MARTIN SCORSESE AS A YOUNG MAN
MARTIN SCORSESE (2012)
MARTIN SCORSESE (2012)

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese was born in New York City in 1942. His Sicilian parents were devout Catholics. They were also both actors, though Mr. Scorsese made his living pressing clothes, and Mrs. Scorsese worked as a seamstress. Young Martin wanted to become a priest, but his love of movies proved a more powerful calling.

Scorsese completed his education with a Master of Fine Arts degree. He became famous for his 1976 film Taxi Driver, nominated for four Academy Awards and currently ranked the 52nd greatest American picture by the American Film Institute (AFI).

In 1978, Scorsese released The Last Waltz, one of the best concert movies ever produced. It is about the last performance by The Band, and features guest artists Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Diamond.

Scorsese's black and white picture Raging Bull (1980), which was nominated for eight Oscars and won two, is rated by AFI as the 4th best film of all time. Goodfellas (1990) is 92nd on that same list, and was nominated for six Oscars, winning one. Cape Fear (1991) was the great filmmaker's most successful picture at the box office until 2004, when it was topped by The Aviator.

Gangs of New York (2002) was nominated for ten Academy Awards. The Aviator (2004), a film about Howard Hughes, was up for eleven and won five Oscars. The Departed (2006) won four of the coveted awards. Shutter Island (2010) is Scorsese's highest grossing picture to date. Gangs of New York and The Departed were my favorite Martin Scorsese movies before I saw Hugo.

Martin Scorsese has been married five times (including to Isabella Rossellini) and has three children. I love his art in spite of his blasphemous 1988 movie The Last Temptation of Christ.

HUGO CABRET
HUGO CABRET
GEORGES MELIES SHOP OF "CONFISERIE ET JOUET" (SWEETS AND TOYS) IN THE TRAIN STATION OF THE MOVIE "HUGO"
GEORGES MELIES SHOP OF "CONFISERIE ET JOUET" (SWEETS AND TOYS) IN THE TRAIN STATION OF THE MOVIE "HUGO"

Hugo Cabret

Hugo is as close to a perfect movie as I have ever seen. It is visually breathtaking. Every scene is created with such loving care it is staggering to the imagination. And imagination is part of what it is about. As Hugo's Father says, "Films have the power to capture dreams."

You know how some pictures seem slapped together? Think the complete opposite of that and you get my impression of Hugo. The casting, the acting, the direction, the cinematography, the art design, the visual effects, the music, and the dialogue are stupendous. Hugo is film art at its apex. It is the first movie I have ever watched twice, back to back.

Hugo Cabret is a twelve-year-old orphan who secretly lives behind the walls of busy train station in 1920s Paris. His father, a master clockmaker who also works for a museum, dies in a fire early in the film. The two of them had been working to restore an automaton found in storage at the museum. It had never been displayed because it remained a mystery how to make it work.

All Hugo has left of his father is the automaton and a book of sketches his father made showing all the missing parts. Hugo is on a mission to find the missing parts and make the automaton whole again.

Hugo Cabret: "Maybe that's why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn't able to do what it was meant to do. Maybe it's the same with people. If you lose your purpose, it's like you're broken."

"Right after my father died, I would come up here a lot. I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason too." ~ Hugo Cabret

AUTOMATON FROM 1770 "THE TURK"
AUTOMATON FROM 1770 "THE TURK"

Automatons

The word "Automaton" means "acting of one's own will." It refers to non-electric moving machines that mimic human or animal actions. Automatons have a history dating back at least to Ancient Greece. It is said that even earlier, King Solomon might have had animal automatons built to surround his throne in Ancient Israel.

Automatons captured the imagination of men during the Renaissance, who revived the art of creating them. They are frequently found in Europe thereafter, mostly in clocks. Thenceforth they were generally made by clockmakers.

Frederick the Great was obsessed with Automatons. 1860-1910 is called the "Golden Age of Automatons."

ASA BUTTERFIELD AS HUGO CABRET
ASA BUTTERFIELD AS HUGO CABRET
HUGO AND ISABELLE GO TO THE PICTURE SHOW
HUGO AND ISABELLE GO TO THE PICTURE SHOW
INSPECTOR GUSTAVE AND MAXIMILIAN
INSPECTOR GUSTAVE AND MAXIMILIAN
THE FILM LIBRARY IN THE FILM "HUGO"
THE FILM LIBRARY IN THE FILM "HUGO"
DJANGO REINHARDT AND HIS ORCHESTRA PLAY INSIDE THE TRAIN STATION IN THE MOVIE "HUGO"
DJANGO REINHARDT AND HIS ORCHESTRA PLAY INSIDE THE TRAIN STATION IN THE MOVIE "HUGO"
A BUDDING LOVE AFFAIR AIDED AND ABETTED BY TWO LONG-HAIR DACHSHUNDS
A BUDDING LOVE AFFAIR AIDED AND ABETTED BY TWO LONG-HAIR DACHSHUNDS
THE BOOKSTORE IN THE MOVIE "HUGO"
THE BOOKSTORE IN THE MOVIE "HUGO"

Cast of Hugo

Hugo Cabret is played by Asa Butterfield, born in London in 1997. Asa Butterfield, with his brilliant blue eyes, is beyond photogenic and one of the best child actors in the world today. In his first picture, made in 2008, he starred as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Hugo meets a fellow orphan named Isabelle, whose parents have been killed in a car crash. Isabelle lives with her Godfather and his wife. What I find remarkable about her character is her profound vocabulary, developed because she is a voracious reader of books.

Isabelle is played by Chloe Grace Moretz, born in Atlanta in 1997. Her mother was a nurse and her father a plastic surgeon. The family, which she describes as "Very Christian," moved to Los Angeles in 2003 and within two years, Chloe landed her first movie role.

Hugo Cabret is hounded by Inspector Gustave, who specializes in capturing street urchins and sending them to an orphanage. The Inspector is played remarkably well by Sasha Baron Cohen, hitherto known for his characters Ali G, Borat, and Bruno. As Inspector Gustave's magnificent Doberman snarls at Hugo Cabret he says, "Maximilian doesn't like the cut of your jib!"

Sasha Baron Cohen was born in London in 1971, the Jewish grandson of a Holocaust survivor. He spent a year in Israel living in a kibbutz and only eats kosher food. Cohen graduated from Cambridge, became a fashion model, and trained to become a clown. He will soon star in a picture about the life story of Freddie Mercury.

Jude Law stars as Hugo Cabret's father. Law, born in London in 1972, is one of the top ten bankable actors in Hollywood. Both of his parents were schoolteachers, but today they operate a drama school and theatre in France. Jude Law became a noteworthy stage performer by age 15. He has four children.

Ray Winstone delivers a brief performance as Hugo Cabret's uncle who takes the boy in after his father dies. Uncle Claude soon meets his Maker as well, leaving Hugo to fend for himself.

Ray Winstone was born in London in 1957 to parents in produce. He was a bad boy in school but became a boxer who won 80 out of 88 bouts before turning his energies to acting. Twice declared bankrupt, Ray Winstone has been married since 1979 and has three daughters. He is usually cast as tough, violent men.

The character who ties everybody together by the end of the story is Rene Tabard, a film historian and author of a book about Georges Melies, Inventor of Dreams. Tabard is expertly portrayed by Michael Stuhlberg (b. 1968), a Jewish actor and graduate of Juilliard from California.

Also notable is Richard Griffiths as Monsieur Frick, a rotund man who figures out that the way to his beloved's heart is to overcome her fiercely protective long-haired dachshund by providing with it a mate.

Richard Griffiths was born in 1947 to Catholic parents, both of whom were deaf. His father was a steelworker and his mother a grocery bagger. Griffiths achieved fame on stage and as a radio voice before becoming a renowned character actor in comedies.

Another excellent role in the picture is played by the 6'5", deep-voiced Christopher Lee as the book store owner, Monsieur Labisse. Christopher Lee was born in England in 1922. His father was a soldier, and his mother a famed beauty in England. Lee is a descendent of an official of the Holy Roman Empire and a medieval Vatican Cardinal. He worked as an intelligence officer in World War Two.

Christopher Lee became famous in horror movies, playing Dracula several times, and he starred as the Frankenstein Monster. He has also done a ton of voiceover work.

Lee might be best known to postmodern audiences as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy—the only participant in those films to have actually met J.R.R. Tolkien. He has been married to the same woman, Danish Model Birgit, since 1961, perhaps not surprisingly since he is the rare politically conservative actor.

Christopher Lee is in the Guinness Book of Records as the performer who has appeared in the most movies: 275.

A fabulous performance is turned in by Helen McCrory as wife of Georges Melies. Helen McCrory was born in London in 1968 to a father who was a Scottish diplomat and his Welsh wife. She is an actor of renown on the London stage and married since 2007 to actor Damian Lewis. They have two children and live in Los Angeles and London.

The veteran star of Hugo is Ben Kingsley. He was born Krishna Pandit Bhanji in London in 1943 to a British actress and model whose husband was of Indian descent. Ben Kingsley has been married four times and has four children. He will be forever known as Ghandi, from the film of that name. In Hugo, he plays a real person from history—Georges Melies.

SPOILER ALERT! I would stop here if you do not want to know the crux of the story.


BEN KINGSLEY
BEN KINGSLEY

Georges Melies

Georges Melies (1861-1938) was a pioneer French filmmaker, known especially as a special effects innovator. He was first famous as a magician who owned his own theatre in Paris. Melies saw the first moving picture produced in history and proclaimed that "film is a new kind of magic!" He sold everything he had in 1896 to build a studio to make motion pictures, what he called "Dreams on Film."

Melies produced an astounding 531 pictures by 1913. His early movies were acclaimed around the world, but his later films were flops. The trouble was that he made more and more ambitious and expensive films as he went on; and tastes changed while he did not. Melies became an artist left behind.

Georges Melies suffered a string of film failures in the early 1910s. That coupled with his brother making bad investments managing his money—and using his money to travel around the world to make terribly expensive but poorly produced documentaries about foreign lands—drove Georges Melies into bankruptcy. Melies lost both his movie studio and his home.

Enraged by the loss of his studio, Melies burned his films, sets, props and costumes in a bonfire. Thus by the time of the film Hugo, it was presumed all his pictures were lost. His story shows us how one can go from a hero to zero in nothing flat. By the 1920s, he was already all but forgotten.

With the earnings he received for melting down the last of his film copies to be made into shoe heels, Georges purchased a small toy and candy store in the train station where he met Hugo Cabret. He was thought to be dead by the public at large.

ON THE LEFT: A SCENE FROM GEORGES MELIES' 1902 MOVIE "A TRIP TO THE MOON"; ON THE RIGHT IS GEORGES MELIES HIMSELF
ON THE LEFT: A SCENE FROM GEORGES MELIES' 1902 MOVIE "A TRIP TO THE MOON"; ON THE RIGHT IS GEORGES MELIES HIMSELF
SIR BEN KINGSLEY AS GEORGES MELIES
SIR BEN KINGSLEY AS GEORGES MELIES

The Movie Hugo

Hugo is an adventure film of the imagination with stories within stories and a great mystery at its heart. Only gradually do we discover the connections between the characters, as they do. Meanwhile, the movie is saturated with fascinating machine imagery.

Isabelle is not allowed by her Godfather to see any movies, but why? We do not know early in the picture. It ends up that her father was a camera man for Georges Melies, and that the heart shaped key she wears around her neck is the secret to bringing the automaton to life.

We also learn that Rene Tabard had met Georges Melies once at his studio where Tabard's brother built sets for the great filmmaker.

We find out near the end of the picture that the heart-shaped key Isabelle wears as a necklace was made by Cabret and Sons—by Hugo's grandfather and his father. Hugo has also long been regaled by his father about the first movie he ever saw, only related as a movie in which a rocket goes to the moon and pierces the man in the moon in his eye—the most famous masterpiece by Georges Melies.

A SCENE FROM THE FILM "HUGO." THE CHARACTERS ARE FROM THE LEFT TO RIGHT: HUGO CABRET; RENE TABARD; MRS. MELIES; AND ISABELLE
A SCENE FROM THE FILM "HUGO." THE CHARACTERS ARE FROM THE LEFT TO RIGHT: HUGO CABRET; RENE TABARD; MRS. MELIES; AND ISABELLE

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    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      Deb Welch— Thank you for the gracious compliment. I very much appreciate you taking the time to come over and read my article about "Hugo" even though you did not like the film.

      I certainly agree with you wholeheartedly that "the boy - Asa Butterfield - was fantastic in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and his acting was very real in Hugo"

      Yes, indeed.

      Thanks again for visiting and hitting the good buttons for me. And you are quite welcome. :-)

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 

      6 years ago

      This was an excellent Review. I did not really like the movie Hugo - but I do truly love Martin Scorsese' works. The Last Waltz, The Last Temptation of Christ, etc. - the boy - Asa Butterfield - was fantastic in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and his acting was very real in Hugo. Useful and Interesting - Thanks.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      Lizam1— You are quite welcome. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my review of "Hugo" and for your excellent, thoughtful, and insightful comments.

      I am honored that you would think enough of this Hub to share it with your friends. I agree with your assessment of the film and I am glad you and the girls were able to see it and that y'all enjoyed it so. I appreciate the visit and the voted up! :-)

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks for this review. I missed the movie when it was released but our local "flea pit" screened it in the summer and I took my girls to see it. The theatre was freezing cold but the intensity and gifted telling of the story kept us warm and enthralled. A great pic and one to be recommended to all. Shared and voted up.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      alocsin— Hello! It is good to hear from you. I did not know that about the automaton. I appreciate the illumination! Thank you for coming by and for the voted up and interesting.

      Kind regards,

      james

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I have the same feeling toward Hugo that you do. Apparently, the automaton was actually one that worked. But it took too long to do the entire drawing, so they had to cut down the sequence so it would fit in the movie. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      misshill— You are quite welcome. Hugo is a wonderful film. I hope you watch it. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • misshill profile image

      misshill 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hugo seems like a nice movie to see; thanks for sharing this article.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Coolmon2009— You are welcome. Thank you for taking the time to check out my review and letting me know you were here.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      girishpuri— You are certainly welcome, friend. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you for reading my review and posting such kind remarks.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      kashmir56— Thank you very much for the affirmation, encouragement, and compliments. It is always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for the voted up and more! :D

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 

      7 years ago from Texas, USA

      Sounds like an interesting movie; thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Spirit Whisperer— You are most welcome, my friend. Thank you for stopping by and chiming in. It is always a pleasure to "see" you.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      7 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      James, Hugo sounds like a great movie, i have not seen it yet, but your hub convince me to watch it, thanks, useful hub.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi James great hub, I have not seen this movie but reading your hub has peaked my interest to watch this interesting movie.

      Well done and vote up and more !!!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      7 years ago from Isle of Man

      We seem to have the same taste in movies and after reading your wonderful review of this movie I will definitely be watching this one with my family. Thank you James.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      GmaGoldie— You actually know someone with an automaton!? How awesome is that.

      Thank you for visiting and for your gracious compliments. You have made my day! And you are welcome. :D

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Seafarer Mama— Hello! I apologize for taking so long to respond to your comments. I have been away working on my first book and I have neglected my HubPages Community lately. But I intend to get heavily involved again after I finish my manuscript.

      I read your Profile Page and it is quite interesting. Van Gogh, Mozart, and Lewis? You have excellent taste. I like the homeschooling bit too.

      I am glad to read that you and your family loved the film "Hugo." And I sincerely appreciate your kind words about my article. I had not heard the word "Steampunk" until recently. I love that genre of movies if that is what it is.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read my work and for your gracious compliments. I look forward to reading some of your Hubs, which I have made myself a note to do ASAP.

      James :-)

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I was just discussing this movie with a business associate who owns a automaton. I couldn't remember the name of the movie!

      I must watch this movie again. Wonderful article - you are always superb. Thank you!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      7 years ago from New England

      Hi James,

      My family and I loved this film, too. Brought my daughter to see it when it was out in the theaters, and then we all took turns reading the book aloud before the movie came out on DVD and my husband was able to see it with us. :0)

      Enjoyed your approach to the film, including the biographies and the background to the story....and now I have to see it again since Scorcese is said to have made a cameo appearance taking a portrait photo of the young Melies.

      Yes, I would put this film in the same class of cinematography as Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and The Golden Compass.

      And it's funny that one reader mentions "Steampunk." I had only recently come across that genre of period dress, etc., right before I saw the movie, so the association of that with Hugo Cabret crossed my mind, too.

      So...your movie review is very thorough, deeply researched, and well-presented....and not a complete "spoiler," since there are other surprises at the end that you don't mention. :D

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      whowas— You are most welcome, friend. I just made myself a note to come over soon and see what you've been writing about lately. I have to make notes about everything these days or I forget. :D

      I agree with your assessment of the film "Hugo." As you noted so well "the cinematography is simply stunning and the soundtrack is beautiful. It is also very well cast and produced."

      I love words too. I think the beauty of the movie stunned me to the point that I didn't notice the weak dialogue.

      I must confess that I had never heard the term "steampunk." Thank you for educating me about it.

      I have not seen 'The Golden Compass.' I will check it out.

      I appreciate the visit and your thoughtful and insightful comments.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Stessily— Thank you so much for the amazing accolades. You warm the cockles of my heart. I sure appreciate your kind words.

      I enjoy writing about movies that I love. And I have thought about doing a review of "Braveheart." Right now, I must concentrate on finally getting my first book published. After that, I do plan on writing a few dozen more Hubs.

      "The Last Waltz" is a marvelous concert film and a real glimpse back in time.

      When I was coming up in the music world a lot of drummers made fun of Ringo because he didn't have the dazzling talent of a Mitch Mitchell or Neil Peart. In my view, any drummer who can lay down the beat for 100 hit songs that people all over the world love and spend money to own must be doing something extraordinarily right.

      I do love "Funny Farm." In fact I viewed it again not long ago.

      I am grateful that you shared this Hub of mine with your friends. And that you gave me the voted up and hit all the good buttons for me.

      Faithfully Yours,

      James

    • profile image

      whowas 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for this great hub. I just watched this last night with my kids. I think that the story is good, the cinematography is simply stunning and the soundtrack is beautiful. It is also very well cast and produced.

      My only criticism was that I thought the text and dialogue somewhat predicatable and shallow, which as a lover of words, disappointed me.

      One great surprise was to see Christopher Lee playing 'a goodie' !

      Despite the textual defecit, I would still heartily recommend it to anyone. You know, it is one of the few films in the steampunk genre to have been a real hit with the public. Interesting, after the astonishing flop that was 'The Golden Compass'.

    • profile image

      stessily 

      7 years ago

      James, This is an absolutely astounding review! It makes me wish that you would do more. For instance, I'd love to read the words which you would find for "The Wizard of Oz", "Braveheart", "The Godfather", "Gladiator" --- actually, your words for all of your favorites. Your mini biographies of the cast had my attention, but I found special interest in your presentation on Martin Scorsese.

      I have never seen "The Last Waltz", so I thank you for the reminder of how remiss I have been. I've seen one excerpt, with Bob Dylan et al singing "I Shall Be Released", with a baby-faced young Neil Young, for goodness sake! And Ringo on drums! What words would White Summer's talented drummer have concerning Ringo?

      I don't have much of a memory of "The Jerk". Perhaps I've never seen it? One of my all-time favorite comedy films is "Funny Farm".

      It's always enlightening and entertaining to visit your HubPages writing desk. I still need to go backwards in time to catch up on your portfolio here, and that's great, but I'm wondering why apparently no new hubs for, what, three months now?

      Up + UFABI + sharing.

      Having seen this movie before reading your review, I have to say that your review is exceptionally well done.

      Kind regards, Stessily

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      suziecat7— "The Aviator" is a super movie, no doubt. I love it!

      I am glad you enjoyed "Hugo" as I did. Thank you for visiting and commenting. And you are most welcome. :D

      James

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 

      7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I truly enjoyed Hugo and your review. My favorite by Scorsese is The Aviator as I'm not a big Mafia movie fan. Too dark. Thanks so much for making people aware of this fine film.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      misshill— I hope you enjoy the film. Thank you for visiting my Hub and letting me know you were here.

      Welcome to the HubPages Community. I look forward to reading some more of your articles. :)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      RedElf— Thank you for visiting my Hub. I appreciate your comments. Always a pleasure to hear from you. :)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      marcoujour— Thanks for your gracious words about my review of "Hugo." I am well pleased that we are in agreeance as to what a marvelous movie it is. I agree with you about the quality of the actors cast. And I surely appreciate the hugs! As well as the voted up and you hitting all the "good" buttons for me. :D

      God Bless You!

      James

    • misshill profile image

      misshill 

      7 years ago from United States

      Sounds like an interesting movie, I will have to check it out.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Sounds like a beautiful movie, and one I would enjoy seeing. What a wonderful cast, too. I particularly enjoyed the information on each actor.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Faith Reaper— Thank you very much for the lovely laudations! I am glad we have similar tastes in movies. God Bless You!

      I appreciate the visitation.

      James :-)

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      7 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear James,

      Like you I had to see this movie twice, one day after the other... so compelling and I wanted to thoroughly absorb the magic after seeing it through once.

      Your review would have absolutely drawn me to the movie, however... so comprehensive, especially with the additional material about Scorsese and the actors.

      Butterfield and Moretz were an unbelievable combination of young talent. Kingsley is one of the most commanding actors of today. And I CRAVE anything featuring Baron-Cohen ~~ he was outrageously in his element as always. Now I'm anxious to see the Freddie Mercury movie...?!

      Voted UP & UABI-- fabulous work. Hugs, Maria

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      PegCole17— Hello! I am so glad that y'all enjoyed the film, "Hugo." Thank you for letting me know. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

      James :D

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      7 years ago from southern USA

      Outstanding James!!! What a truly well-written, insightful and obviously well-reasearched piece. I must see this film without a doubt, now. Oh, how cool is it that your top movie choices are mine as well. Love it! In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      AlexDrinkH2O— You are welcome. Thank you for the compliment. Welcome to the HubPages Community. I look forward to reading some of your works.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      stars439— Thank you my Brother for the lovely laudations. You hold a very special place in my heart my friend. I love you. God Bless You!

      James :D

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Spirit Whisperer— You are quite welcome, my friend. I hope you and your family enjoy "Hugo" as much as I did. It is great to hear from you again. I hope all is well. Thank you for coming by.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      qmfaisal— You are welcome. Gosh, I thought the story was great. Well, thank you for reading my review. I appreciate your gracious compliments. Welcome to the HubPages Community!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Sueswan— Hello there! Thank you very much for the voted up and away. I hope you enjoy the movie. I appreciate the visit and your comments.

      James :-)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello again James, After reading your review we sought out the film and watched it. Actually we found a copy at one of the warehouse stores like Costco or Sam's. It was everything you said; magically and deeply moving, so very memorable. I want to see it again now.

      Peg

    • AlexDrinkH2O profile image

      AlexDrinkH2O 

      7 years ago from Southern New England, USA

      Incredible hub! And one of my all-time favorite movies! Thank you!!!

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 

      7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Dear James : I must watch the movie. Your Hub is fantastic. Everything you write is as fantastic as you are. God Bless You Brother.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      7 years ago from Isle of Man

      I am a big fan of good movies and we seem to like the same kind of movies. Every weekend we all sit together as a family and watch movies. Hugo is definitely going on our LoveFilm rental list. Thank you James.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      mts1098— You are welcome! I love "Gladiator."

      Thank you for your comments. I very much appreciate the visit. Welcome to the HubPages Community! I look forward to reading some Hubs from "inside the man cave."

      :D

    • qmfaisal profile image

      qmfaisal 

      7 years ago from Dhaka

      Indeed a great review, thank you! But I wish the movie was only half good as the review. The 3D effects were great but where was the story?

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      tirelesstraveler— I hope you enjoy "Hugo" as much as I did. Thank you for visiting my Hub. :D

    • profile image

      Sueswan 

      7 years ago

      Hi James,

      I haven't see Hugo but after reading your review, I want to see it.

      Voted up and away!

      Take care :)

    • profile image

      mts1098 

      7 years ago

      I am looking forward to the machine imagery and I think Gladiator should have gotten a higher rank :) cheers and thanks for the review

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      DeBorrah K. Ogans— You are so welcome! Thank you for making my day with the high praise indeed of your lovely laudations. I could not be happier with your kind comments.

      I agree with you that Asa Butterfield is great in both films—and both are great films, too ("The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" and "Hugo").

      The visuals ARE wonderful in "Hugo." And you made a brilliant observation about the "heart-shaped key."

      I am glad you and your husband enjpoyed the movie and let me know you did. I totally agree with your outstanding observations and I appreciate your blessings.

      God Bless You!

      James :D

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      7 years ago from California

      Looking for a movie to watch this weekend; may need to rent Hugo.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      ubanichijioke— Hello! Glad you could make it by to visit. Thank you for the compliments and your blessings.

      God Bless You!

      :D

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      7 years ago

      James A Watkins, BRAVO! This was a phenomenal movie! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this together! The visuals truly are wonderful! Asa Butterfield was great in the “Boy with the Blue Striped Pajamas was just as or moreso compelling in “Hugo!” The story line set in Paris is fabulous and enthralling as it shows the industrious, tenacity, perseverance and brilliance of “Hugo.” He pensively lives on his own daily in the midst of the masses in a train station. One can glean many life virtues from this marvelous film. It was most exhilarating as the young Hugo strived to once again bring life to the Automaton! How interesting that the key was “heart” shaped….

      Again your presentation was marvelous! Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      donnaisabella— You are quite welcome. I appreciate this visitation from you. Thank you for your gracious compliments and blessings. I hope you enjoy "Hugo" as much as I did. God Bless You! :-)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Polly— You are welcome. Thank you for visiting and reading my film review of "Hugo."

      I had hoped I dropped off the "list" by now. :D

      I do at least stand for something, as do you. God Bless You for it!

      Movies are quite disappointing these days. I read the other day a list of the top fifty movies ever made and only one of them was made after 1982. Not that Hollywood cares. All they care about is spreading the message of the Antichrist. But this movie is a wonderful exception.

      I surely appreciate your kind compliments!

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 

      7 years ago from Lagos

      Hello Sir, i must commend your effort here. Great review of note and i will try and get this film cos from your review, i am impressed! Blessings!!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      SanneL— You are quite welcome. I hope you enjoy the film as much as I did. I do believe it to be spectacular.

      It is a distinct pleasure to "see" you. Thank you for the encouragement. I surely appreciate the visit and your kind compliments.

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Isabella Mukanda 

      7 years ago from Fort Myers

      Well I did not read the 'spoiler' because your review is so compelling from the beginning I would like to watch this movie on my own. I have been bought and cannot wait to see Hugo. Thanks for the detail and well written script as usual. Many blessings.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Derdriu— It is always a distinct pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to come over and read my review of "Hugo." And you are quite welcome. I surely appreciate the voted up and all! :-)

      I thought Asa Butterfield and Sasha Baron Cohen and Helen McCrory stood out in their acting in the movie. But all of the players were wonderful.

      Your response to my review has me tickled pink. I couldn't be happier with your warm words of encouragement. High praise indeed. You made my day.

      Faithfully Yours,

      James

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 

      7 years ago from US

      Thank you James, I will definitely see this, movies do disappoint me many times. It seems the public will accept less and that is what they get so it has to be a good one for me to bother. I see we are both still on someones ____ list, lol, but we know who we are and that is all that matters. Great hub and deserves to be voted as such. Oh and I read a comment you made on a Ron Paul hub and I sure agreed with that. I was fooled by an idiot once, but never again (well, maybe twice, lol) and it sure does not look promising but I will go out kicking, I promise. I like people who are not yes men, or women. You've got to stand for something...well you know that story....

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 

      7 years ago from Sweden

      James, reading this very thoroughly and captivating review, I definitely need to check this movie out. This sounds like a movie I really would enjoy to watch. Thanks for the tip! Oh, and I stopped reading where you told me to, so I'll be back reading the rest after I have watched the film lol. Always a pleasure reading your hubs. Take care my friend.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 

      7 years ago

      James, What an excellent, inviting, thought-provoking review of what turns out to be a "must-see" film! In particular, you do your typically great job of anticipating reader interests and questions through the impressive amount of information you so effortlessly, seamlessly, smoothly integrate into your hub. It's especially interesting how you give us the background on both the fictional characters and on the real people -- from Martin Scorsese to Ben Kingsley -- in the movie. Additionally, I like how attractively you arrange "pretty pictures" in such a way that they provide breaks to ponder what's being said as well as illustrations of what you say.

      It's possible that I've seen this film. It all sounds so familiar. Even so, I plan to re-visit this magnificent cinematographic masterpiece which you so masterfully review.

      Thank you for sharing, voted up + all (of course, because it's one of J.A.W.'s writings ;-]!).

      Respectfully and appreciatively, Derdriu

      P.S. Whom do you think did the absolute best acting job? I know that's a difficult question what with Ben Kingsley, Jude Law and Christopher Lee being in one film but even so ... .

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      phdast7— Hello, Theresa! It is great to "see" you here. I surely appreciate your awesome accolades. You have warmed the cockles of my heart and made my day with your lovely laudations.

      I hope you enjoy the film. Thank you for visiting! :-)

      James

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      James - My, my, my. So misleading...this was not a "film review." This was a film investigation, a film adventure, a wonderful journey into the film narrative, the actors, and film-making. :) It was simply great. Now, I definitely have to see this film! :) Theresa

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Right Black— You wrote, 'When I saw this movie I thought "I wish this could all be true."['

      I love that thought and the way you expressed it. :D

      I agree with you too that the hues in the movie are magnificent.

      Thank you for your kind words. I very much enjoyed your comments about my review of the film.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      iamaudraleigh— Thank you ever much for the laudations and the voted up. I appreciate you sharing this article with your friends.

      Welcome to the HubPages Community! I look forward to reading your Hubs. I can see that with 255 Followers after 2 months you are off to a fantastic start!

    • Right Black profile image

      Right Black 

      7 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

      James when I saw this movie I thought "I wish this could all be true." It was a great combination of history, fact, fiction, adventure and imagination. I loved the hues of the movie, the teal blue green with the orange and rust colors made it seem as if your were in a dream world. Great hub, great movie!

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 

      7 years ago

      James A Watkins, you have written a fantastic hub about one of my favorite movies!!! Voted up and shared!!!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      DeBorrah K. Ogans-- You are quite welcome, my dear. I hope you do see the movie. It is truly superb. It is wonderful and magical.

      I appreciate the accolades. Thank you for visiting and commenting. God Bless You!

      James :)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      stars439-- Thank you, my brother, for the gracious compliments and your much needed blessings. I hope you, Joann and Becky are getting on well these days. I think the three of you would really like this movie if you watched it together.

      God Bless You!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      John Sarkis-- Thank you for the visit and the laudations and the voted up, John. It is good to hear from you.

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Prasetio! Good to "see" you here. I hope you do watch and enjoy the movie. Thanks for the rated up and useful, brother. I appreciate the compliment and you are welcome.

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      William Gerace-- Hello! Thank you very much for taking the time to check out my Hub. Gosh, I sure appreciate the accolades, my friend. I am well pleased that you enjoyed the actor profiles.

      I am grateful to you for the voted up, as well as your gracious remarks. Thanks again and welcome to the HubPages Communty.

      James :D

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Dolores Monet-- Hello there! I am glad you came by to read my article. I am even more happy to see that you enjoyed my review and that we are in agreeance as to what a fabulous film "Hugo" is.

      I didn't get to see it at the movie theatre either. I wish I would have. I am sure that in 3-D it must been marvelous.

      I'm with you too that Cohen surprised me with his role in this picture. He was great. He does resemble Freddie Mercury and I'll bet he plays that part wonderfully.

      Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. :)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      taratabet— You are quite welcome, kind sir.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      7 years ago

      James A Watkins, EXCELLENT wonderfully educational, and exciting proficient review on the movie: “Hugo!” I have placed it on my must see list! I will comment more after I have actually seen the movie...

      Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 

      7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub James. I will also be on the lookout for the movie. God Bless You , and your wonderful family dear friend, and brother in our love of God.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great hub James. I haven't seeing the movie, but want to after reading your hub.

      Voted up

      John

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I am going to rent some of these movies. It sounds great and interesting. Thanks for writing and share with us. Good job, brother. Rated up and useful!

      Prasetio

    • William Gerace profile image

      William Gerace 

      7 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      Hey James what a great review on Hugo. I took agree with some of your top ten especially Forrest Gump. Life is truly like a box of chocolate you'll never know what you will get when you open it. I can say the same here with this Hub. The details on the actors and their backgrounds especially Christopher Lee was phenomenal. Definitely voting this up. This Hub was well written, useful, and informative as well as entertaining. Great work buddy.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi James - we recently watched Hugo just to see what all the noise was about. My only disappointment was that I did not see it one the big screen, but at home on DVD. What a fabulous film, one of the best I've ever seen. Everything was perfect. And Sasha Baron Cohen was fabulous. I kind of thought he was just one of those flash in the pan nuts, but now see that he really has something. I look forward to seeing him portray Freddie Mercury.

    • taratabet profile image

      taratabet 

      7 years ago from Avalon

      Thanks James..

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      drpastorcarlotta— You are quite welcome! Thank you for the love and the blessings! Thank you for coming to see me and leaving this gracious note! God Bless You! Much Love!

      James :-)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      CMerritt— You are welcome, brother. I hope you do see it, Chris, and that you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you for the "up and awesome." :D

      You wrote that "Scorsese played a cameo as a photographer taking a picture of the young George Melies."

      I did not notice that. I appreciate that info, my friend.

      James

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      7 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Hey James and Blessings!!! I have missed you! Thanks for this movie info. Voted-Up! Love you!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      carter 06— You are welcome. Thank you for coming over to read my article. I appreciate your kind compliments. :D

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      b. Malin— You are most welcome. Thank you for your gracious compliments and the "Voted up!" :)

      I want to see "The Artist" very much, as soon as it is out on DVD. I also have not seen—but plan to rent ASAP—"The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas."

      It is always a pleasure to hear from you. I appreciate your remarks.

      james

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      LuxmiH— Thank you ever much for the "Voted up and interesting." I appreciate you for taking the time to read my article and I am well pleased that you enjoyed it. Your comments are really cool too. Thanks again! :-)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      teaches12345— You are most welcome. Hmmm . . . I forgot about the Chronicles of Narnia. I did love it. Maybe I will move that up and demote Patton. :)

      Thank you for reviewing my review. I appreciate your comments.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Alastar Packer— You are welcome, my friend. I appreciate the visit and your comments.

      I'm not sure I should have put "The Jerk" up that high either but it is my favorite comedy and methinks one comedy should make the list. I do love "Funny Farm" too. :D

      Scorsese is a filmmaking genius, alright.

      I am glad you enjoyed the Hub. Thank you for the accolades.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      PegCole17— Thank you for taking the time to come over and check out of my Hub, Peg. I appreciate your gracious compliments. It is always a distinct pleasure to hear from you.

      To me, "Alien" is a killer movie. :)

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      michiganman567— You are welcome, friend. Thank you for the kind compliments. I very much appreciate this visitation from you.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      ChristyWrites— I share your amazement of the concept and beautiful look of "Hugo." Thank you for reading my article. I appreciate your kind comments, as well as the voted up! :)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      drbj— Thank you very much for the "Voted way up" and your awesome accolades.

      I am glad we are in agreeance about what constitutes a great film. I must confess that I have never seen "Despicable Me." Based on your recommendation, I will rectify that ASAP. I'm on it.

      I am glad you enjoyed the actor biographies, too. I like to check out the backgrounds of the performers to see who they really are and where they come from.

      I appreciate the visit and your always interesting and thoughtful remarks.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      grandmapearl— Hello there! You are quite welcome. I am glad you enjoyed my article and I surely appreciate your lovely laudations. I especially want to thank you for the "Voted Up and Awesome and Useful!" :-)

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Brian Mullins— Thank you very much for the accolades. I see you are a filmmaker. That is fascinating. I look forward to checking out your Hubs. Welcome to the HubPages Community!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      James, I never gave this movie a second thought before now....and NOW, it is on my list to see, and see soon.

      Thanks for the very well written "plug" for the movie...

      I read on IMBD, that Scorsese played a cameo as a photographer taking a picture of the young George Melies.

      up and awesome.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      taratabet— Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate the visit and your comments. I apologize that the HubPages software had your comment in my "spam" folder. Probably just because you are new. I fixed it. Welcome to the HubPages Community!!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      rebekahELLE— You are quite welcome. It is great to hear from you again. It has been quite some time since we have interacted. I am honored by your visit. Thank you!! :)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Kaie Arwen— You are quite welcome, my dear. This Hub's for you! :D

      You described the film succinctly: "a breathtaking journey; a myriad of emotions; warm, fuzzy feelings, and appropriate for any age."

      Well said.

      Thank you for coming. It is always a pleasure to see you.

      JJRBJ

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