Hugo is a well-shot and well-acted movie that also happens to have a beautiful message.
I first became aware of the book which I always meant to read. The book is a marvelously illustrated and written by Brian Selznick.
Wonderful moments abound in this film, like Hugo hanging on to the arms of enormous clock. The scene looks like something out of the silent film Safety Last. The film honors silent films and silent film makers so this scene is so fitting.
One of the best aspects of the movie, however, is the theme.
Standing near the clear dial of the clock, which is an enormous window, Hugo realizes that the world is like an enormous machine.
If someone has lost their purpose, they are broken, just like the automaton Hugo’s father found. Yet, that doesn’t mean they can’t be “fixed” or redeemed.
“Are you a fixer?” Isabelle asks Hugo. Humbly, he says, “I think so.”
The villain of the movie has a prosthetic leg, which he needs because of a war injury.
The war has left him embittered; plus, he has had a terrible childhood. Consequently, he delights in locking up and terrorizing orphaned children.
Even this character though is “fixed,” in the end, as he returns with a working leg, presumably fixed by Hugo and Papa Georges.