Monday, January 2, 2012

Hugo, the movie

A movie seemed like a good way to end Christmas break. We don't go often, so it really is a treat but I was sure which one to see. There are several good ones out right now so last night I posted on Facebook and asked whether to see We bought a Zoo or Hugo. Friends responded immediately and most suggested We bought a zoo.

I have read both books and knew that the movie, We Bought a Zoo appears to be nothing like the book. The book is set in France and England and really focuses around the author's life as a husband to a wife who has a terminal illness. It was a very touching book and the loss of his wife was very poignant and central to the story. The movie is set in California, I believe, and I'm not sure the wife plays as much a part as the Scarlett Johanssen character does, who in the book, really was not a central character. BUT if the girls had chosen Zoo, I was all for it, as the reviews are great.

The other choice was a movie based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret. If you have not read this book, you really should check it out if not for the story but the incredible illustrations. It is a fairly massive book for a young reader at 533 pages, but the majority of the pages are dedicated to these pencil/graphite looking drawings that allow you to see what the main character Hugo is seeing. You can easily read it in an afternoon.

After I read it, Grace read it, and we eventually convinced Annabel to try it. Both loved the book. Out of all the things we did last year, that is probably the only thing we all three agreed on, so when Annabel chose to see the movie, Hugo, I was all for it.

Now there is one drawback to the movie for me personally, and that is that the 3D is supposed to be the more impressive version. The drawback is that I only see out of one eye, so 3D is completely lost on me. Older 3D movies were painful for me to watch with the red and blue shadows and the glasses that just made it worse. Today's 3D movies come with something more like Men in Black shades and while I see a shadow around the picture without the glasses, with them on, it is erased. But I never get the full effect of the others in the audience. It is all flat to me.

That being said, this movie was delicious. It was the perfect cup of coffee with the most wonderful dessert to a great Christmas break. The settings were exquisitive. You truly felt that you were in a train station in Paris soon after the Great War. You felt you could get swept away with the crowds, just as easily as you could spy on the flirtations between the cafe owner and the newstand owner. You felt the steam, the snarl of the Doberman, you could smell the flowers from the flower stand, you could taste the steaming hot croissants.

But I always worry when a movie focuses on the fact that a character is an orphan. In this one, it was especially grizzly to be an orphan as that was an offense that would send you to the orphanage and it showed one boy being treated like a criminal and hauled away, just for that reason. I do worry what sort of impact it might have on my girls and really don't want something that is supposed to be entertaining to instead cause painful memories or worries.Neither mentioned any concerns they felt and instead talked about how much they enjoyed it. They remembered the book better than I did and pointed out several of the changes in the movie from the book.

I loved the movie and truly felt like I had had the perfect cup of coffee with the perfect dessert, the coffee just hot and strong enough, yet creamy enough to make it sublime, while the dessert was just rich and dense enough to let you know you have indulged, yet not so much that you feel guilty.

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