January 31, 2012
By this time I had already watched 6 out of the 9 nominees for Oscar Best Picture announced yesterday. "Hugo" earned 11 nominations. It has also been named Best Picture of the year by several critics. Martin Scorsese won Best Director in the Golden Globe and other critics awards.
When I saw the robot boy in the trailer, I must admit I already had a bad feeling about this film. However, how could all of these awards and critics be wrong? I should have trusted my instincts! Despite all the awards hype and the promise of "magic" by the trailer, this movie never really came alive for me. From the overlong introduction of the orphan Hugo and his life inside the clockworks of the train station to the Scrooge-like character of Ben Kingsley and the annoying station guard character of Sasha Baron Cohen, I found it all a desperate exercise in tedium disguised by "beautiful" images and "special" effects. All this "beauty" were merely of technical or mechanical nature only. For me, there was nothing really heart-warming or inspirational worth identifying with here.
When it came to the climax when the "fabulous" secret was revealed, it is of a nature that would appeal and mean something only to a very limited segment of the audience. It is not by any degree magical to me, as this whole film would build it up to be. And I would consider myself a film lover! It was simply a very big disappointment because of the big build-up it had and the expectations it came with. I do not really know how a meandering script like this could even be nominated for Best Writing. I do not think Martin Scorsese is really cut out to make films like this one. His first foray into a film for children is too long and not really interesting for children. I do not expect you to take my word for it, but I do not really recommend this film, despite the accolades it carries with it. It is the worst of the 7 Oscar Best Pic-nominated films I have seen. I would call it INDULGENT, and Simon Cowell would agree.