365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 5

Year: 2011

Oscar Wins:

Best Cinematography

Best Visual Effects

Best Art Direction

Best Sound Editing

Best Sound Mixing

Oscar Nominations:

Best Picture

Best Director

Best Editing

Best Costume Design

Best Original Score

Best Adapted Screenplay


Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.


“Hugo” dives into the real life of pioneer silent film maker Georges Melies who made films between the years 1896 to 1913. “Hugo” is the name of a young orphaned boy in Paris, France in 1931 living inside a train station’s clock and crosses paths with Melies who now works at a toy shop inside the train station when he catches Hugo stealing. Hugo’s quest to discover a message from his deceased father, who was a clock repairman, lies in a mystery left behind in the workings of his Dad’s greatest project – a mechanical doll, or “automata”.

The sets, the costumes, and the editing style – all of it is just as incredible as we have come to expect. Scorsese knows how to make a really authentic and meticulously designed period piece, and his work here is no different. But what really makes it dazzle and come to life, rather surprisingly, is the 3D. It is generously employed throughout the film very carefully, very rarely coming off as the gimmick it inherently is. Instead, it adds depth and a stunning realism to the film. It feels like you are in the movie, experiencing what Hugo sees and feels.

Asa Butterfield is good as Hugo. His performance is better in the emotional moments. Chloë Moretz always gives a lot of personality and soul to her roles. Her and Butterfield are simply charming. But the best goes to Ben Kingsley. He’s always been a great actor. He’s just wonderful as Georges Méliès. All the credit definitely goes to Martin Scorsese. He expresses his love to cinema movies and shows its history. It often explores its eye-candy spectacles. There are fun silent comedy and romance from the minor characters. It’s all recapturing the old style of movies even without making it black and white or using old fashion score. 3D is usually used for large scale adventure films or action movies but Hugo used it to show its spectacular visuals and it works great. The production design is splendid. Same goes to the music score. Everything you see in this film is just gorgeous.

The Blu-Ray comes with a DVD and Digital Copy to help keep you entertained in all available formats. The A/V Quality is pretty strong with the strongest DTS-HD 7.1 master audio track of the year. I can’t believe that this disc sounds as good as it does, but here we are. Hell, I’d call it one of the best sounding Blu-Rays ever released in Region 1. The featurettes are all in 1080p with a flawless presentation. I appreciated the extra material with Sacha Baron Cohen. However, why wasn’t there some material to focus more on Melies and the other inspirations present throughout the film? Oh well, I’m just complaining about small missed opportunities. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to all.

RELEASE DATE: 02/28/2012

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