The Box Office Season 1 Episode 22 – Hugo

Martin Scorsese is an excellent director. Goodfellas, Casino, Aviator and Gangs of New York – the man has an impressive track record. But one thing about his films is that they are not for general audiences. He has a very consistent and loyal following, but his work is not always understood by the general public. Now he’s trying his hand at a mainstream children’s tale. The results are mixed. I’m going to say this first, I loved Hugo. Cordell did not like it quite as much, but we agree the film was very well-made. It really speaks directly to the film buff. The movie’s whole point is to show the audience how magical movies can be. It presents this point in a vibrant, colorful and magical way. In fact, Scorsese even goes as far as using 3D to help portray the magic of film in an un-gimmicky way. It may not be worth an additional 5 bucks, but it was certainly well done. Hugo reminds me of movies like Cinema Paradiso. It was excellent, purposeful, poignant, but not something I would want to take a child to.

The thing is, kids these days don’t have the kind of attention span needed to get through a Scorsese film. Marty takes his time telling a story and with his movies, that is usually a great thing because we get all the details, all the juice. However, in Hugo, it almost felt like the movie was dragging on. I loved the story and thoroughly enjoyed the book, but not until about three quarters into it did I realize exactly what it was about. Cordell believes that this isn’t a movie kids will drag their parents too, but rather a movie parents will drag their kids too and I most certainly agree. The lure of a Scorsese film packaged as a children’s movie will draw many Scorsese fans (who happen generally be above the age of 14), which is why we feel parents will be more pleased with the film than children will. Although there are the magical and adventurous scenes you would expect of a children’s film, they take too long to unfold, which makes us question whether or not children will be able to pay attention to the entire movie. Kids these days go to the movies to see Harry Potter kill Voldemort while simultaneously munching on their popcorn. That is the kind of magic and wonder they look for: the kind that keeps you on the edge of your seat. They do not care much for story arcs or love stories on the side (no matter how great Sacha Baron Cohen was in “Hugo”). Overall, however, I still think everyone should go see the movie, but be prepared for your children to cry boredom!

Conclusion: If you’re a film buff or just a HUGE fan of Scorsese, full price all the way! If you’re a parent thinking of taking your kids to the movie, save your money or take them to the Muppets instead.
Until next time…

See you at the theater!

Agree? Disagree? Let the World Know!