Hugo

November 30, 2011

I’ve been having trouble coming up with something to say about this one.  There’s a huge amount of hype about it, it’s the movie everyone’s talking about.  And pretty much everything everyone’s saying is true.  It’s worth it to see because it’s so different than the usual mainstream fare, full of history and nostalgia, stories within stories, great old movies, and gentleness.  It’s also rather odd to watch a 3-D movie that isn’t high-octane action-adventure.  I’ll be interested to see if other filmmakers take on the challenge of using 3-D to set a scene, rather than make spears poke you in the eye.

It’s a very well made, well thought out, well done movie.  I never quite fell into the story, though, because I kept observing how well it was done.  That happens sometimes, with very good stories, as well as not so good ones.  So the reason I can’t think of what to say is because I’m fairly certain that my reaction to it — that I never emotionally engaged with the story because much of it felt overly familiar, even if technically accomplished — is entirely due to my own idiosyncrasies and has nothing to do with the film at all.  I’m also pretty sure my own reaction is butting heads with the rapturous delight I’m seeing from everyone else.  I’m thinking, “Well yes it’s good, but that good?”  I’m suspicious of so much unqualified enthusiasm, but again, that’s my reaction and not anything to do with the movie at all, I suspect.  Maybe I’m just tired of stories featuring wide-eyed precocious orphans. (A bit of note for SF fans, the actor playing Hugo is slated for Ender in the current planned production of Ender’s Game.)

I’m still trying to decide if I can handle seeing War Horse.

12 Responses to “Hugo”

  1. hamzabook Says:

    Reblogged this on hamzabook.


  2. I enjoyed the film, and yes, I thought it was absolutely gorgeous–but I didn’t exactly find it life-altering. Rather, it’s a very sweet and charming little movie, along the lines of Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero. It puts a smile on your face throughout, which is certainly a worthy achievement.

  3. Jim Van Pelt Says:

    No, stay away from War Horse. I’m afraid there will be a lot of violence toward horses in it. Seriously! Connie told me once, “Never kill the dog.” Killing animals is a cheap way to go for people’s emotional jugular, and I think War Horse will do this in spades.

  4. Charlie Says:

    I don’t really think War Horse is going to be the equine equivalent of the opening of Saving Private Ryan.


  5. Agreed. Even if there are any horses killed in the film, I doubt it’ll be anything more than an accurate depiction of, well, war.


  6. *And I say this as an animal lover myself.

  7. carriev Says:

    I saw the play of War Horse in London and got through it okay, mostly because the story was predictable and borderline schlocky. But I’m worried about 1) real horses instead of the puppets, and 2) the Spielberg effect (i.e. Saving Private Ryan with horses…just no…)

  8. Jacqie Says:

    The trailer to Warhorse made me tear up, so I’m sure the movie will too. Doesn’t matter if it’s schlocky, pretty sure I’m gonna cry.

    Don’t know if I can see it or not.

  9. Karen Steele Says:

    My life is Equine rescue so I’ll not see War Horse — I read Kitty to recover from what happens to these magnificent beasts during a recession. Watching an “entertaining” depictation of a horses life and death in war just feels wrong.
    How is that for shallow? Kill people (in movies & books) but don’t hurt animals!
    I, too, saw Hugo yesterday & realized I was so busy spotting the stars, cameos & attention to detail in the fabulous sets that I was a bit removed from the story. It’s a gorgeous movie. Beautifully made — likea a museum piece. I loved it — but felt it was a visual rather than emotional experience.

  10. Doruk Says:

    I pretty much agree with you.

  11. carriev Says:

    The reasons I would see War Horse:
    1) There aren’t enough movies about World War I, which is a sadly neglected period in history. I don’t see war movies as entertainment, but I think they can be important tools for showing people a window into a serious human experience.

    2) Horses on the big screen, there’s nothing like it. I have a hard time staying away. But yeah, this one’s just going to be horses getting hurt.

    Karen, thanks for your work in equine rescue. What a hard job. People who think horses can “just take care of themselves…” ugh.


  12. […] a huge deal about the film using their dress.)  But I also felt much like I did after seeing Hugo.  It’s nice, but I’m not sure it deserves all the obsessive elated hype it’s […]


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