Media Mondays: Hugo


This past weekend, I saw the movie Hugo. It was AMAZING. And the best thing about it? It was based off a book. Great, right?!

Let’s talk about the movie first.

Hugo is a Martin Scorsese film that was released on Thanksgiving week. Hugo is meant to be seen in 3D because of its unique and magical aspects of graphic art. Hugo is rated PG and has an all-star cast of Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, Emily Mortimer, and Sacha Baron Cohen! It was also produced by Johnny Depp. On Rotten Tomatoes, it received 94%. See? AMAZING!

For those of you who haven’t heard about this movie, Hugo is a fantasy adventure that takes place in Paris, mainly a railway station set in the 1930s. It revolves around Hugo Cabret, a boy whose mother died and lives with his father. His father is a clockmaker and sadly dies in a museum fire. Now an orphan, Hugo lives in the walls of a train station and is wrapped up in a mystery that involves his late father and an automaton. The automaton is missing one part – a heart-shaped key. Hugo is convinced that there is a message from his father, and does everything possible to fix the automaton.

Now about the book.

Hugo is based off the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, written and illustrated by Brian Selznick. The first edition hardcover copy was published in late January of 2007. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a historical fiction young adult book that has 284 pictures throughout the 500+ pages. It is said that the book depends on the pictures as much as the words.

The movie is faithful to the book in many ways. The images of clocks, trains, and Paris is amazing. The audience absolutely knows what the movie will be about and the world that has been set. The beautiful visuals in the book are translated so perfectly within the book. I felt like I was looking at the illustrations in the book and felt quite pleased with it.

Of course, there are changes from the book and the movie. For example, Isabelle’s character in the movie is more forward than in the book. Hugo and Isabelle’s conversations aren’t so eloquent and the vocabulary isn’t as advanced in the book as it is in the movie. Also, in the movie, there is much more information about Georges, that is relayed to Hugo. In the book, this was delivered in a narrative.

There are other differences, which I won’t divulge in due to spoilers, but I didn’t think it hindered the integrity of the book. I felt that Scorsese did a beautiful job with the movie, and I urge everyone to watch it if you haven’t already.

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