Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lights, Camera, Hugo!

     Our writer's group went to see The Invention of Hugo Cabret the other night at an historic theater in downtown Normal. The outing was hugely fun, with dinner beforehand and a two-block walk to the theater for the 7 p.m. showing. Some of us had read the book already and most had seen the movie at least once.
     If you don't know the story, I won't give away any spoilers but here's a summary: the story follows a young orphan in 1930s Paris while he works in the walls of the city's train station tending the clocks. At the heart of the story, the boy is obsessed with restoring an automaton which he and his father worked on before his father's untimely death. It's based on the Caldecott-winning picture book/novel by Brian Selznick. With a name like Selznick, I was curious to know if he had a Hollywood lineage. Sure enough, when I looked him up, I found he is the first cousin, twice removed, of David O. Selznick, producer of Gone With the Wind, Academy Award winner for Best Picture of the year in 1939 (I recognized the name only because I was obsessed with GWTW as a teen).
     From Selznick's website, he reports that Hugo was inspired by a passage in the book, Edison’s Eve. It  tells of a collection of automata that belonged to moviemaker George Melies. After Melies's death,  the automata were tossed in the garbage by the museum staff. Selznick, a fan of Melies and automata, was fascinated, imagining a young boy finding an automaton in the trash.
     Hugo has been nominated for Academy Awards in eleven categories, including Best Picture and Best Director (Martin Scorcese)! It was a fantastic movie, and Selznick's story deserves the accolades. I'd love to see another Selznick creation win an Oscar.
     Here's to Hugo - cheers!



11 comments:

  1. I've been wondering about this film. The trailer looks great but I wasn't sure whether it would live up to the hype. It sounds as though it does :-)

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  2. I've heard a lot of things about this book- one of them being it's unusual that it's a novel with illustrations in it. For it to win a Caldecott award must be pretty sweet. Will definitely want to read it first before I see the movie.

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  3. I haven't seen the movie and have not read the book. I'm far behind. But I'm looking for the book. it's difficult to get some books in my area.

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  4. My first grade son's teacher gave him her copy to borrow at home. He was so proud. I'd read a chapter to him here and there, but he loved it and finished it himself. So of course I had to read the whole thing too. It was a delight. I can't wait to see the movie with him (and my other two kids).

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  5. Thanks for the summary. Even with all the attention this movie is getting, I hadn't taken the time to learn what the story is about. Although, when I saw clip of it during the Oscars last night, I was intrigued. How fun to go as a group. Our writing group takes "field trips" like this too ;)

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  6. The movie was one of those 'feel good' movies; it had the same effect on me that Polar Express did. I didn't catch all of the Awards last night, but the newspaper this morning mentioned that Hugo had one five of the 11 categories!

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  7. Always nice to just get out and have fun.

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  8. Sounds like a very fun outing! I can't believe it, but I have neither read the book mor seen the movie yet! I'll have to remedy that. But I'll definitely read the book first - I find movies rarely live up to the book and I want to picture it my own way first!

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  9. What fun! So interesting seeing a movie from a picture book. And what a good idea going with your writing group. :)

    Saying hi from the campaign and to tell you that you've been tagged. Check out the rules over at my place. :)

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  10. I have not seen this movie, but it's on list!

    Teresa

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  11. Hi, Dawn! How interesting that you should post about this! I came across this title last week in an article that I was reading, hadn't heard it before, and Googled it to find out what it was about. It sounds like the book was interesting, with the drawings that it contains, but I actually did not realize it had been made into a movie! Yeah for books being made into movies!

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