Hugo 3-D excels in animation, narrative structure

By BEN DAUBER
Contributing Writer
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A surprising departure from the average children’s film, Hugo pairs excellent narrative structure with superb casting to make Martin Scorsese’s fantastic children’s feature a must-watch.

Ranking an 8.5 out of 10 on IMDB and an impressive 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, Hugo is something to behold. Its Rotten Tomatoes rating eclipses Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast and Aladdin’s. The hype surrounding this film is undeniable.

The film centers on an orphan named Hugo Cabret, played by Asa Butterfield. After losing his father to a fire at a young age, Hugo is pushed into the hands of his drunken uncle, who is responsible for maintaining the numerous and ornate clocks of a large train station in Paris.

As Hugo struggles to find his purpose and what may be left of his family, he goes on a journey that could entertain just about anybody.

Although he mainly shoots Hugo on film, Scorsese melds CGI and animation seamlessly to create a truly magnificent dream-like style of moviemaking.

Another area where Hugo excelled was with its excellent supporting cast. Veteran character actor Ben Kingsley and the surprisingly effective Sacha Baron Cohen fill out a strong ensemble that truly make Hugo come to life.

Known for starring in shock-comedy films like Borat and Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen makes a surprising departure into family films. Providing well-timed comedic breaks and a convincing portrayal of the station inspector and villain, Cohen was a strong addition to the cast.

Ben Kingsley also provided a strong performance as the enigmatic Georges Melies, whose emotional transformation throughout the film is one of the main reasons the film is worth watching.

Strongly cast, creatively shot and emotionally satisfying, Hugo is a holiday film that would be a shame to miss. The 3-D is a plus, but the selling point here is the story. The price of admission is more than worth it, as Hugo truly pushes the expectations of family films.