After all the Oscar hype surrounding this film, I decided it was in my best interest to see it.
Turns out it was not in my best interest to spend money on this film. While I tried, albeit desperately, to like this visually stimulating and gorgeous film in 3D, the plot was lagging and disconnected, the characters uninspired, and the dialogue oftentimes too much for this critic. Hugo was, sadly, a quite over-hyped movie.
What did appeal to me about Hugo, however, was the gorgeous cinematography and the lovely visual effects. It was good to know that those Oscars it cleaned up at the start of the program were well deserved. The film was, if anything, pretty to look at. The 3D wasn’t obnoxious. We’ve all seen those 3D films where it feels like they’re trying to prove to us that they can really handle 3D. Hugo, however, used 3D to enhance the experience and that worked out nicely. I didn’t even want to take off my glasses either, so kudos to you, Hugo!
But what the film stole in artistic appearance, it lacked in plot and substance.
Hugo’s screenplay was full of unneeded dialogue. One such instance came after Hugo’s automaton temporary stopped working in the middle of sketching. Hugo slams his table and exclaims that he was expecting a message from his father, some sort of meaning. The only thing I could think was…Of course you were expecting some sort of message from the automaton! It was heavy implied! The entire script, however, was tainted with unnecessary dialogue, and it ruined part of the movie. Sometimes what is unsaid it more potent.
Then, in addition, Hugo ended without an actual ending. The connection between the father’s work on the automaton and the automaton was totally unconnected at the end. Because the father was always a constant part of Hugo’s life, I expected some sort of tie in between the father and the rest of the automaton plot. And while the little girl said that the father’s automaton lead Hugo to find a family, that somehow did not cut it for me or for my friends.
In addition, Hugo’s characters just came off as trite and unoriginal. I do acknowledge that this was adapted from a novel, but it is the screenwriter’s job to make that novel work for the screen. The dialogue and every character’s actions just seemed boring to watch. Watching these cliched characters prance across the screen was something I did not need to pay to see, and it ruined the movie.
Hugo also suffered from pacing issues. The whole movie felt as if the worst parts got too much screen time and the most interesting parts - like the part where they sneak into the movie - suffered from not enough screen time. The result? A beautiful film that lacked substance worth spending time watching.
So while Hugo deserved their artistic nods for the Oscars, they were far from deserving any of their other nominations. As a Best Picture? Not a chance, sadly.
I expected more from this shallow movie that might have pushed artistic boundaries, but did not push any other boundaries. Hugo’s facade of beautiful images failed to mask their gaping plot holes and cliche characters for this critic.
# hugo # hugo the film # film # movie # movie review # oscars # academy awards # 2012 # oscars12 # hugo the movie