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Film Fans captivated by Scorsese's 'Hugo'

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "Hugo." Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

3 stars our of 4

I chose to pay the extra money to see the 3-D version since I hadn't seen anything in 3-D for several years. I don't think it really adds to the story, but since I only saw the one version, I can't compare them.

The clocks, toys and other machines are metaphors in this story about the value of each person and how important it is to not give up on our dreams. There were two lines that brought the theme home for me. Hugo said, "There are no extra parts when you buy a machine." He figured each kid in the world (even an orphan like himself) has a purpose and a meaning. There is also an important message about the need for relationships seen with the inspector, Hugo, several patrons of the train station, etc.

Although directed by Martin Scorsese, there is no offensive language or objectionable content. This is not just a kids' movie; film historians might especially be happy to see the film flashbacks from the 1930s and before.

-- J.P. Zinn, Lawrenceville

4 stars out of 4

Movies take me on a dream-story, captivating and enchanting my imagination. "Hugo," Martin Scorsese's family film, is a beautiful, quiet, delightful charming story. "Come and dream with me" encompasses my expectations for films and "Hugo" did not disappoint.

Asa Betterfield stars as Hugo Cabret, a young boy who lives inside the clock tower at a 1930s Paris train station. Hugo encounters a harsh toy store owner, the brilliant George Melies (Ben Kingsley), and through a series of events, befriends Melies' daughter, Isabelle (extraordinary Chloe Grace Moretz) and the beautiful relationship which develops between these characters is only part of its gift. The real genius of "Hugo" is the marvelous journey Scorsese guides you on, each exquisitely stunning frame unfolding more of the gentle story, until you trust everything is possible if you hold on to your dream.

"Hugo" also stars Jude Law, Sacha Baron Cohen, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee and Helen McCrory, all of whom gave excellent performances.

"Hugo" is not a ridiculous children's movie; nor is this a violent Scorsese "Goodfellas" or "Casino." "Hugo" is a beautifully crafted masterpiece for those of us who love the magnificence and fantasy of movies. My movie buddy and I agree, "Hugo" is merveilleux!

-- Myra Simons, Buford

3 stars out of 4

So begins a winter scene that shifts quickly into a riveting journey of dreams and fantasy that will capture you like a thief in the night. With an outstanding cast, a musical score that excels and a screenplay that delivers, Martin Scorsese has created a magical film indeed. Set around the early 20th century in Paris, we find Hugo (Asa Butterfield) a 12-year-old orphan living as a street boy and thief. He lives in the massive train station clock that his father managed before his death. The story starts with Hugo living a meager life and finding trouble with the toy proprietor, George Melies, played admirably by Ben Kingsley.

We learn that George and his wife have adopted an orphan girl and she and Hugo become close friends. As the story unravels, George and Hugo begin to gain respect for each other. Then the truth about George surfaces and the wheels grind as the emotions of family bonds, hidden deeply for decades, emerge. The last 40 minutes are very impressive as the pieces come together like a dream. If you're looking for an outstanding family movie, this is it.

-- Rick Wright, Auburn