December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

March 24, 2012

Hugo (2011)

When it’s over, I regret not seeing this film in 3D.  Based on the impressive cinematography and production design, I think it would have been a great visual experience.  The film’s title is also the name of the main character, an orphaned boy (Asa Butterfield) who lives in the walls of a Paris train station in the 1930’s, after his father’s tragic death (Jude Law).  Hugo is determined to fix the broken automaton (mechanical man) he and his father had started, and to seek out the key that unlocks a compartment in the automaton that he believes holds great secrets.  The look of this film was amazing.  It had the elements of charm and enchantment that made me feel like I was watching an extravagant fractured fairy tale, the way only veteran Director Martin Scorsese can pull off – magical, dark, and innocent all in the same breath.  He has done a wonderful job adapting Brian Selznick’s book, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” and has captured the images of the bygone days of pioneer filmmaker, George Melies (Ben Kingsley), brilliantly.  Part fiction, part documentary, this film is very much a tribute to the silent era of filmmaking and film as an escapist medium.  The well-balanced mix of suspense, mystery, nostalgia, and awe keeps the story interesting for varying age groups.  Many people have asked me if I would recommend this film for children, and my answer is “yes.”  I think this film is appropriate for children, however, I think older and more mature children may find it easier to engage in the story and its characters, while younger children may find the look of the film fascinating, but lose interest in the drama and lengthy dialogue.  Rounding out the wonderful cast are: Chloe Grace Moretz, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Ray Winstone, and Sacha Baron Cohen.

My rating:  4 out of 5


  1. I did see this in 3D but I think a 2D is good enough. I never read the book so Ben Kingsley's character was a mystery to me until it was revealed near the end. I'm a sucker for stories that pay homage to the importance of films and imagination in general. Needless to say, I really like this. The poor orphan who needs a family met a washed out filmmaker who needs to feel important again.. nice touch.

  2. Today, I had an opportunity to see Hugo in 3D on the big screen. What a treat it was to enjoy this wonderful film all over again. The mechanical mechanisms looked amazing, and the camera angles and movements made me feel as if I was in the film. Again, great story well adapted and expertly presented.