Tag Archives: Chloë Grace Moretz

Movie Review – Hugo (2011)

Film: Hugo
Released: 2011
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths

Based on the novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in the 1930s in Paris. He fixes clocks and other gadgets as he learned to from his father and uncle. The only thing that he has left that connects him to his father is an automaton that doesn’t work; Hugo has to find its heart-shaped key. On his adventures, he meets with a cranky old man who works in the train station and his adventure-seeking god-daughter. Hugo finds that they have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton, and as he discovers it, the old man starts remembering his past and his significance to the world of film-making.

What I thought of it:
Another much-nominated film, directed by the recipient of the BAFTA Academy Fellowship award this year, but another disappointment. There are some sterling performances from heavyweights of the British film industry (Kingsley, Winstone) but there are also similarly familiar names in inconsequential roles that really didn’t need to be included as they added nothing to the story at all (Griffiths, de laTour).

Sacha Baron Cohen is turning out to be a joy to watch on-screen – he is fast leaving behind his days of Ali G and moving into the realm of character actor and I can see him becoming a force to be reckoned with as each time I see him perform, he makes me smile and surprises me with his versatility (I’m not talking about the likes of Borat or Bruno). Kingsley is, as always, nothing short of wonderous. He is a class act that adds something special to every production that is lucky enough to feature his immense talent. And the young leads (Butterfield, Moretz) are definitely stars in the making and we should all keep an eye on their future projects. I predict great things for both of them.

But here’s the rub. The film is dull. I was pretty much bored rigid for most of it, and as I am someone who adores cinema, I figured I should be the kind of person who would love this ode to its early history and one of its great founding fathers. I didn’t. I was, as I have already mentioned, left disappointed.

There are some gorgeous effects and some bizarre dreamlike sequences (I really wasn’t surprised to find this film was produced by Johnny Depp), and I can see it perhaps picking up a few Oscars in the way of visual effects and that sort of thing, but if this wins Best Picture or Director, I will once again be giving a heavy sigh and shaking my head.

And on one final note, I cannot understand why the source novel is called The Invention of Hugo Cabret when young Hugo doesn’t actually invent anything – he just fixes things.

My hubby’s review HERE.

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Movie Review – Let Me In (2010)

Film: Let Me In
Released: 201o
Director: Matt Reeves
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas

Owen is 12 years-old, his parents are no longer together and he has no friends. He’s also being bullied at school and lives a dreary existence. Late one night he meets Abby, also 12, who has moved in next door. She doesn’t say much about herself and doesn’t go to school. Meanwhile, a detective is investigating a series of murders where people have been drained of their blood. Owen and Abby are lonely souls who find comfort in one another and Abby gives him the strength to face his tormentors. Abby has secrets as well that touch directly on the police investigation.

What I thought of it:
With this being a vampire movie and rated a 15 in the UK, I was surprised at how gentle this film was overall. Yes, there is some blood (you’d expect that, wouldn’t you?) and some violence (you’d expect that too), but there’s nothing terribly graphic and the main story focuses on the burgeoning friendship between a twelve-year-old boy and the seemingly similarly aged girl next door. It shows how a strong friendship can give a person the strength to overcome so many things, in this case the main contender is bullying, but there is also a pressing family situation which needs to be dealt with, not just for Owen, but for Abby too.

The two young leads give very subtle and moving performances which show promise of great things to come (they’re certainly both very busy with upcoming movies at the moment!) and their relationship is both touching and tentatively played.

There are some slightly uncomfortable moments – the relationship between Abby and her “father” verges on the sexual with some of the caresses – but there is nothing overt and it is made very clear to the viewer who is in charge in their relationship.

I enjoyed it. The idea of child vampires isn’t new (see 1994’s Interview with the Vampire for one notable example), but it’s played to great effect here and we look directly at how a doomed relationship between a vampire and human has to end – with the human always aging and their vampire friend forever young.

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