Oscar Said This Movie Was Good is a movie review series by Ozarks native Kaitlyn Vaughan. She is not a professional movie critic by any means — and not even really a writer — but wanted to improve her movie buffness by watching all 9 films nominated by the Academy Awards for Best Picture. Then she said she wanted to write about them. We said, “Fine. Whatever.” So, if these reviews suck, it’s not our fault. But, if they’re good, we deserve all the credit.
Coming out of Hugo, those were still the only things I knew about it.
First of all, the theater was packed. It seems every parent in the state of Kansas brought their child to see this movie on a bitterly cold Saturday in January. As I mentioned, I knew this film was based on a children’s book, but I simply did not expect to be surrounded on all sides by 5-to 10-year olds crunching on popcorn, whisper-yelling to their parents, and kicking my seat. But, alas, I was already committed, so I began to prepare myself for two hours worth of simple children’s play.
For those of you who don’t know any more about the film than I did, here is a basic rundown. Hugo is a boy whose clockmaker father dies, and as a result, is left orphaned. He is “adopted” by his drunken uncle who is responsible for running the clocks at a Parisian train station. The uncle then leaves Hugo to fend for himself and run the clocks on his own, and therefore lives in the bowels of the train station, once again as an orphan. From there the movie spirals off into story line after story line after story line, making the plot rival that of a television series that has been on the air too long: far-reaching and drawn out. (i.e. The Simpsons, Saved By The Bell, and 24)
As the movie began, I detected a very Harry Potter-esque feel and thought this may be something I could get into. Psych. This movie doesn’t hold a candle to HP and I’m ashamed I began down that road of comparison. (Sorry, J.K.) Perhaps if I had read the book first as I did with Harry Potter, I would have felt more connected to the characters, but I did not find myself feeling sympathy for the creepy eyed little boy Hugo, even though everything in his life was pretty crappy. I partly blame this on the fact this movie was unexpectedly dark and scary. While similar to Harry Potter in the sense that the music was ominous and some of the characters were extremely evil, these factors did not add value to the storyline as it did with Harry P. It just kept making me think, “This is not a movie made for children.”
As I mentioned early, there were just too many story lines. It was as if the story was about to end, but then all of sudden one small, minuscule, insignificant piece of that story would connect it to the next and then we’d do it all over again. That got old real quick. Not only was I wishing the movie would actually end, I couldn’t see how an eight year-old child could be following the story; I barely could. (No comments on my intelligence, please.)
Side Note: Personally, I am not a huge fan of 3D movies as, most of the time, I do not find the enhancement necessary. (Plus it gives me a headache and those glasses make you look stupid.) Hugo was no different. I will admit there were some great visuals of Paris and the oversized gears of the clocks that looked pretty awesome, but those were only small or occasional parts of the film. As for the rest of the movie, I thought the 3D feature was pointless.
Do I understand why it was nominated for Best Picture? I mean, kinda. The storyline and type of movie were original in comparison to other nominees and some of the visuals were pretty impressive. Do I understand why it was nominated Best Picture over Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2? Absolutely not. You got screwed, Daniel Radcliffe.
Oscar was wrong. This movie was only okay.
Other movies Oscar said were good (and were reviewed):
- The Descendants
- The Artist
- War Horse
- The Help
- Midnight in Paris
- The Tree of Life
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close