Hugo (2011)

I know that my daughter really liked The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznik, but I hadn't read it. So I sat down to watch Hugo (the first time) knowing nothing. And waited for the story to announce itself, to tell me what it would be about. Instead, Hugo invited me to watch a world unfold, a world full of small and big mysteries, small and big tragedies, small and big dreams of a happy ending for an orphan living in a 1930s train station.

Much is made by the marketing plan of the fact that Hugo is directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese, as if the advertising folks couldn't figure out how to sell it otherwise. But the book--highly regarded and widely read--had no such name dropping power and did just fine. So in my opinion the marketing folks blew it and scared off many potential viewers with the implication that it's "arty." This is first and foremost a movie for kids and open-hearted adults. It's secondary that it is also likely to knock the socks off those who love film.