Usually I really don’t care what movies are nominated for/win Oscars unless its so that I can scoff that the Academy is full of nonsense and that their choices just stink.
At the same time, though, a nomination usually means that the film will be seen by more people. And I certainly hope that will be the case for Hugo.
I was first introduced to the story by my son, who loves Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret–a unique novel “in words and pictures,” upon which the film is based. More than illustrations, the pictures that make up more than half the bulk of the book wordlessly advance the plot–an homage, of sorts, to the silent films that play an important role of their own in the story. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Hugo was a better-than-usual book-to-film adaptation–there was something of film within the book already.
The film was not disappointing at all–and I’m delighted that was able to see it on the big screen, where it comes alive under Scorcese’s able direction, Robert Richardson’s stunning cinematography, and Howard Shore’s (of Lord of the Rings fame) haunting and beautiful score. (All three were nominated for Oscars for their respective contributions, and the film was nominated for Best Picture.)
Hugo is also surprisingly, richly theological in some surprisingly Christian ways. I hate reviews that give away substantive facts, but suffice it to say, it is about creativity, it is about vocation, about redemption and grace in the unlikeliest of circumstances. It is about communicating, reconciling, remembering, community-forming love.
All without being the least bit ‘preachy.’
So I’ll be preachy, just for a second: go see Hugo!
And if you’ve seen it/read it, please do share your thoughts below!