Sunday, 11 December 2011


I hadn't been to the cinema for ages, and I love films. But not having a tv or radio I rather relied on Bob (womb fruit) to keep me informed of what was on. Now he's gone off to become himself without parental interference I have no clue. However, when I logged on to Twitter for the Foyles Friday book game my eyes fell on a tweet from TED about Hugo. I can't remember what it said but whatever it was diverted my attention from the game and sent me off to find out more. And yesterday we went to see it.

God it was good. It's about secrets, and purpose; losing, finding, hiding, revealing. It's beautifully realised: the colours, the sounds, even the way the characters move contribute to the story.  As I sat and watched I was a child again, transported to a more colourful world for a couple of hours. I cried, I laughed, I gasped.

Set in 1930s Paris it's about an orphaned boy (Hugo) whose guardian – uncle Claude (Ray Winstone) – a station clock setter has disappeared. Hugo lives in the station and tends to the clocks while he waits for his uncle to return. While he waits he attempts to continue a task his father had begun before his death: fix an old, rusted automaton and find the key to make it work once more. He feeds himself by snaffling croissants, and does his best to avoid the station inspector (played brilliantly by Sasha Baron Cohen) who has a passion for sending stray children to the orphanage. Then one day he is caught trying to steal a clockwork mouse by the toy booth owner, Papa Georges... Hugo, I'd say, is about as perfect a Christmas film as I've seen in years, and it has set a seasonal tone to the weekend which I hope to eek out a little longer.

As luck would have it today is the last farmers' market before Christmas, thankfully it's neither raining, snowing, or blowing. So I'm off to see if Alison has any chutneys that might spruce up cold goose; what chocolate confections Dennis has to give as gifts, and if that nice smoked trout man has anything left (he tends to sell out early) to brighten the between Christmas and New Year table. I'm hoping the cheese lady is there too, and the man who makes delicious coconut fudge, not his only flavour but my current favourite. While I'm there I'll see if I can uncover a story or two.  


Rachel Fox said...

We haven't seen it yet... did you watch 2 or 3D?

Linnhe Mara said...

The boys received the book a number of years ago. It is a rather beautiful publication, half of the story is told in words the other by illustration alone. I'm afraid they have no desire to see the film, afraid it will disappoint I suppose, as so many adaptations do. Perhaps I can persuade them otherwise now on your recommendation.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Is it a bit of a cult film Eryl? I certainly have not heard of it round here and we have two excellent small cinemas.

Scarlet Blue said...

I've seen a trailer, and I have a mental note that I'd like to see it. I'm awful for getting out to the cinema so I will probably catch it on DVD. Not quite the same!

Pat said...

I've just been introduced to Block buster so maybe I will see it (in a while if it's new) It sounds delightful.

Eryl said...

Rachel ~ we saw it in 3D and it was worth it for the opening scene alone.

Linnhe ~ oh cripes, if they don't like it I'll be subjected to the stare of derision!

Weaver ~ I don't think so, it seems to be considered Martin Scorsese's best film in years, and it has everyone in it: Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, Frances de la Tour, Emily Mortimer, Richard Griffiths, and more! We saw it in a multiplex in Carlisle.

Scarlet ~ I thought the trailer was misleading, it makes it look rather action adventure and it's a much quieter sort of story, really.

Pat ~ I'm pretty sure you'd really like it. Paris is gorgeous in it.

Titus said...

Ooh, we're going! Big article of Scorsese and the making of it in the Times last Saturday.

Love the sound of the market, but a little twitchy too as I haven't really started on the Christmas journey yet.

Sharon Longworth said...

OOh - Philip and I have been talking about going to see Hugo - now I know we'll just have to. Thank you for the fine review.

savannah said...

on my must see list, too! it's showing in 3d here, so that's my choice! xoxoxox

Eryl said...

Titus ~ I'm not surprised you haven't begun the Christmas journey yet: you are doing so much else!

Do let me know if you enjoy the film as much as I did.

Sharon ~ I hope you like it as much as I did.

Savannah ~ Paris in 3D, how could you not?!

Kass said...

"Hugo" appealed to the child in me too. I love the magic of cinema.

Hope you find some good stories and items at the market.

nick said...

Sounds good. I must wait and see if it surfaces in Belfast. I fancied repairing watches when I was young, but apparently I didn't have the fingers for it, they weren't sensitive enough to handle those tiny bits and pieces.

rochambeau said...

THANK you for your review of Hugo, Eryl!! Now, I will be looking forward to seeing it! Hope you found all the goodies you need for your holiday meals!
Hugs from the US!

Elizabeth said...

I saw the 'coming attractions' of it and think it sounds WONDERFUL.
I need to go before I hear too much about it
since I hate to have preconceptions.
Hope you have a super Christmas!

Eryl said...

Kass ~ I found a couple of lovely stories, it's amazing what people will tell if you show an interest in listening.

Nick ~ if Carlisle gets it Belfast will, surely.

Constance ~ you're most welcome, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Elizabeth ~ I hope I haven't helped create any preconceptions!

Mary Witzl said...

I've heard about this. Now that I've read your review and learned that Sasha Baron Cohen is in it, I want to see it.

It's a novelty reading your posts and knowing that I've personally spoken to the cheese lady and the fish man. ;o)

Eryl said...

The fish man wasn't there! So we'll have to do without smoked rainbow trout on the Christmas table.

Sarah Allen said...

Just gotta say, Ben Kingsley is one of my favorite people in the world. Very much agree, this was such a great movie.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Eryl said...

Sarah ~ hello! Ben Kingsley's great, I agree. Glad you enjoyed the movie too.