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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Film Reviews: Hugo (2011)
Hugo (2011). Directed by Martin Scorsese and based on the book by Brian Selznick. The film is set in the 1930s at Paris's Gare du Nord railway station. The story centres around Hugo (Asa Butterfield), a 12-year old boy who lives in the railway station and tends the clocks. Hugo is an orphan, and has to steal food to survive. He tries to steal a clockwork mouse from a toy shop but is caught by the owner, who in turn takes the contents of his pockets; some mechanical parts and a notebook of drawings. The toy shop owner (Ben Kingsley) threatens to burn the notebook, which leaves Hugo bereft. Hugo, the film, is certainly lovely to look at, with gorgeous sets and beautiful cinematography. Everyone pretty much looks the part, aside from the generally English accents in a French city. The partly non-fiction story also has some charm about it. For some reason though I felt like it was trying too hard, like it was trying to be a classic but via paint by numbers. Certainly a lot of people have seen classic written all over it, as it has received heavy praise. But despite trying to watch it with an open mind and no expectations I still felt a let down by the predictable story, plodding pace, and characters that just didn't jump off the screen. Family films can be exciting and unpredictable, right? Perhaps 5-10 year olds will get something from it, and others will see magic where I didn't. 3/5 (Average)