I haven’t done one of these in a while and I think it’s about time! A couple days ago my boyfriend and I were searching through Netflix to find something to watch (a process that usually takes about 40 minutes and always ends with us watching Dogs With Jobs) when we came across Hugo. I’d been wanting to watch it for a long time now, but never had, and he had seen it and liked it a lot. So we decided to watch it.
We watched almost exactly half of the movie but then we got tired and just wanted to sleep. However, I was in love with this movie from the start. About ten minutes in, I headed straight over to Amazon and bought the book the movie was based off of, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.
Yesterday, I received it in the mail (thank you, Amazon Prime!) and I read the entire book. The book is more than 500 pages long, but it has about 284 pictures, so really I only read about 200 and something pages. Still, it was a lot for me to read in one sitting, but I just couldn’t put it down. The second I finished the book I knew I had to finish the movie, so I watched it today and I wanted to tell you about them.
First, I’d like to just say that director Martin Scorsese did a fantastic job. From what I’ve noticed, it’s incredibly difficult to turn a children’s book into a movie. I have a few children’s/young adult books that I’ve loved that have been turned into movies that I just hated. For example, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Incredible book, but horrible movie. In this particular case, I thought it was flawless!
A lot of times the line between book and movie is so thick that it’s almost an entirely different story (I’m looking at you, Maze Runner!) but in this case they got everything right. I will say that they added a few things into the movie that weren’t in the book, and they took out a few things that were in the book. However, everything they added or took out was for a purpose. For example, in the book the main character, Hugo Cabret, goes to a Film Library with someone he had met at a bookstore. In the movie, the character still goes to the library, but with the secondary character, Isabelle. Which I thought made a lot more sense when I watched the movie. It’s too confusing to add in a random character that was only mentioned twice in the book into a movie.
I also have to say that they did a phenomenal job casting the characters. In the actual book, there are pictures of the characters – and not just one picture of a character, but tons of pictures of characters. Which meant that they had to find actors that very closely matched the pictures. And they did that perfectly.
They also used a lot of old-time-y cinema references that I only knew one of, and it was the most famous. So it was very obscure with the references, which was pretty cool, too.
I honestly can’t give you any negative feedback. This book was amazing. It was a great book to teach kids the art of persevering, of doing what you love, and teaching kids that it’s okay to be sad if something bad happens. And it’s okay to let your friends in to help you. It was an incredibly cute book, and it was an incredibly cute movie.
10/10! I highly recommend this book-movie combo to anyone who likes cute, imaginative stories, and anyone who likes incredibly well acted movies.
Until next time!