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National Board Of Review Names HUGO Best Picture!

Nordling here.

We had the Gotham and New York Film Critics Awards earlier in the week, but the National Board of Review normally sets the pace for the awards season, and surprisingly, their best film turns out to be Scorsese's celebration of silent movies and the power of cinema itself, and I can't think of a more appropriate movie to top the Review's list.  Some great chocies this year, including Tilda Swinton's performance in WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, which is seriously one of my favorite performances I've ever seen.  She's stunningly great in it.  Here are the winners:

Best Film: Hugo
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants
Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy
Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Best Ensemble: The Help
Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class)
NBR Freedom of Expression: Crime After Crime
NBR Freedom of Expression: Pariah
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise - A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film
Top Films (in alphabetical order)

The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Ides of March
J. Edgar
Tree of Life
War Horse
Top 10 Independent Films (In Alphabetical Order)

Another Earth
A Better Life
Cedar Rapids
Margin Call
Take Shelter
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Win Win

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (In Alphabetical Order)

13 Assassins
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
Le Havre
Point Blank

Top 5 Documentaries (In Alphabetical Order)

Born to be Wild
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Project Nim
I'm very happy to see DRIVE recognized.  That's probably going to wind up at least in my top three of the year.  13 ASSASSINS and ELITE SQUAD are tremendous as well.  And I think it's been an outstanding year for film in general anyway.  Nordling, out.
Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 1, 2011, 3:42 p.m. CST

    yet muppet movie would have been at 100% if not for three reviews


    - at least one of which from someone that didn't see the movie! hugo does not inspire me to see it, i can't figure out why. guess i'm getting old and tired of children's books involving magic and wonder and old time periods and train stations and dead parents and shit. i'd rather see a movie about a guy with a brother who is a muppet. it was fucking hilarious! apples and oranges i guess.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Rooney Mara? The film isnt even out yet.

    by sunwukong86

    Has it been screened for critics already?

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 3:46 p.m. CST

    my fat hairy ass

    by mick vance

    just got an award from some fucker somewhere...

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 3:55 p.m. CST

    No Serkis?

    by AssyMuffJizz


  • Dec. 1, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST


    by emteem

    You should check it out. The ads don't really tell you the truth about this movie. There is no magic, and while there is wonder it is the wonder of the power of movies. Honestly, at the end of the day, HUGO is a two hour drama about the life of 19th century French filmmaker Georges Milies. It would make an excellent double-feature with CINEMA PARADISO.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST


    by brad negrotto

    They have J. Edgar on their top ten list. Clearly, their opinions do not matter.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST

    j. edgar was WEAK!


    they smoking tea if they liked that storm of poo

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Muppets was better.

    by frank

    Hugo was interesting from a film history perspective, and it was really awesome seeing the Melies movies on the big screen and in 3D, but beyond that it wasn’t really very memorable. I would rather have just seen a theatrical release of the full length Melies films, really. On the other hand, The Muppets was the most fun I have had at the movies in years, and over a week after seeing it I still find myself thinking about it often. No question as to which of the two movies I’d rather watch again.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:03 p.m. CST

    turn of the century is the new retard/cripple oscar bait


  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:09 p.m. CST

    They always nominate Eastwood stuff at the NBR

    by Randy

    Same thing happened with Invictus, didn't gett rave reviews and was nominated, J. Edgar got even worse reviews. I'm actually happy Hugo won, surprised to not see Moneyball in there.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:11 p.m. CST

    The Gotham and New York Film Critics Awards?

    by paint163

    Never heard of them...the Razzies are more famous!!

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:16 p.m. CST

    War Whores!

    by Simpsonian

    Once you hear it that way, you always will.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Hugo - Bore of the Year Award

    by The E

    That would be a more appropriate award for the film to take home. Such a boring and slow movie to watch through and the most mismarketed movie of the year (not a kid's fantasy flick about a robot, actually a movie about French silent films).

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST

    why didn't

    by mick vance

    brittney spears' crossroads movie ever get any awards love? i still cry snotty tears out of my dick to that movie at least twice a week...

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:35 p.m. CST

    the e

    by Raskolnikov_was_framed

    do you know why you shouldn't have expected just a kid's fantasy flick about a robot?? 4 words A Martin Scorsese Picture you had to know there would be more to it

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Bore of the year?

    by beastie

    Really? My 5 year old and 7 year old children didn't seem to think so.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Martin Scorsese

    by KiwiMetal

    Is the only reason it got anything. The guy could film an epic tale of 2 flies on shit and every reviewer, board and academy would fall over backwards giving it 10 outta 10 and bestowing it with the title of 'an epic for our generation'. Meh

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 5:08 p.m. CST


    by la_sith

    Really underrated movie making zero lists.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Loved Hugo

    by Pipple

    Didn't see much need for 3d though. It's a powerful film in the sense that it drew me in and made me care about the characters, which hasn't happened in a long time for me. Bravo scorsese. That hugo was some good shit.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Kids Bored to Death - @Beastie

    by The E

    Well I took my five nephews/nieces ages 5 to 11 and they all thought it was terribly boring, asking to leave multiple times even though I tortured them through it. I felt like such a screw up Uncle. Congrats on your kids though, they obviously have a greater eye for art then my family does. <p><p>It's a great film for those who want to see a documentary on silent French films, but a horrible movie for those wanting to see a kids fantasy flick, which is how it was marketed.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 5:28 p.m. CST


    by KevinMuller

    I absolutely loved "Hugo". I succeeded not only on a story telling level, but also provided the best 3-D I have seen to date. I NEVER attend a 3D movie (only this, Avatar, Tron, and Alice in Wonderland--which was terrible on all accounts) but I am telling all my friends to see this for the 3D. I would not be upset if Marty wins the statue this year, even though he won't, because he deserves it. As for the Rest: The Descendants was Payne's worst film. When I say worst, I mean not up to standards for him. It was still enjoyable though and better than most of what is out there. My anticipation for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" has just skyrocketed. The book is awesome and if they pull it off, it will be amazing. The only film I disagree with being on here is J. Edgar. I usually love Eastwood and Leo, but this one was just lacking. It was just very long and boring. It had potential, but just did not succeed.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Film Expectations - @ raskolnikov_was_framed

    by The E

    Thanks for that, I wish all of use was as knowledgeable as you on the ways of films. Far be it from me to make assumptions on the film based on the trailer rather than the director's past work since all director's movies are the same. I'm an idiot...

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 5:38 p.m. CST

    SENNA - snub of the year

    by Noddy93

    for SENNA to not even make the short-list of 24 best documentaries at the Oscars is a joke. even the NBR has it in the Top 5.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 6:08 p.m. CST

    When Will Reiser was diagnosed, he never could've imagined this

    by CountryBoy

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Glad to see Drive as well....

    by Flames gotta Eat

    My favorite of the little I've seen this year. Kudos to Fassbender, I think it was his year along with Gosling's as well. Two great fucking actors and real men. Glad to see the 50/50 love and 13 Assassins as well. And I love that Harry Potter is being pushed for awards and is actually recognized here. It's kind of the Return of the King syndrome since it's the last hurrah of a very influential series. And the film is really good.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 7:05 p.m. CST

    There are people who don't like Hugo.

    by Nickn328

    And I feel nothing but immense pity for them.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Nick, I didn't like it, but don't pity me

    by CountryBoy

    There were parts I loved, all the Meilies recreations, the 3D stuff in the station and among the clocks; I even liked the odd little romantic subplots. But there seemed to be an overall lack of passion involved; I expected more from Scorsese. You'd think a story of a movie-obsessed orphan would bring out something incredible in him. I just didn't get that.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 7:23 p.m. CST

    I heard J. Edgar was laughably bad...

    by jimmy_009

    ...I guess they just give token awards to old directors regardless of quality.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Hugo was a bore.

    by brad negrotto

    Like country boy said, you think it would have more passion in it. I did like the station trampling scene, and the first visit to the Meilies studio. Other than that it was snoozefest. My poor daughter is starting to distrust my taste in movies now. She won't go see The Muppets with. Hugo deserves to be lost to time just for that.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Clooney's year?

    by seagrass

    Would like to see him win Best Actor, FINALLY.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 8:10 p.m. CST

    "J. Edgar" is indeed a strange movie.

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    Mainly because it is a throwback. It takes an American icon and re-examines him through the eyes of our 21st Century society - by an 80-year old director who was an actor in some of the most fascist films in American film history - and who also happens to be makeing intensely personal statements in his films - and who also happens to be an intelligent man who makes extremely intelligent films. "J. Edgar" is a melodrama, plain and simple. And Eastwood plays it like a Douglas Sirk picture - a lot of closested emotions and repression/supression, a lot of unspoken words (until denouement), and a ton of pop psychology spoken earnestly. Just because audiences aren't used to that type of operatic tight-wire act doesn't mean it isn't good. I actually thought it was pretty great, and always entertaining. Throughout I was enthralled how they tried to balance rumour with fact and their use of extreme artisitic license to make it a bedroom drama which psychological deconstructs the private and public life of a brilliant man whose imprint is on a good deal of what we understand as modern America, and who was intensely protective of his private life and yet at the time was seen as a major figure of public morality. He is actually a very perceptive, if not overly emotional, examination of hypocrisy and political ambition in America. It is also an extremely hypothetical picture - it fills out the holes and mysteries in Hoover's life with a lot of guess work that is anchored allegorically in what I expect is a fictional take on his personal life and relationships, treating Hoover as an emotionally enigmatic genious who just so happened to have a major and indelible impact on American history's last century of history. It is not authoritative in the least - but it is a very very fascinating work of art. And I am quite happy to have it. In the end, it is one of my favourite recent films to think about in terms of its structure and script writing (GO LANCE BLACK!).

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 8:40 p.m. CST

    "Hugo" was hands-down brilliant

    by Peter David

    Enormously mis-marketed; unfamiliar with the book, I thought it was a fantasy film. Instead it was a brilliant musing on both movie-making and the transient nature of fame. I thought it was superb use of 3D, with brilliantly composed shots that constantly made optimum use of the technology. After all these years, Scorsese made a genuine family film and blew the genre out of the water. My eight year old and her nine year old best friend were spellbound. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It deserves whatever accolades are heaped upon it. PAD

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:33 p.m. CST

    The problem with Hugo...

    by tailhook

    is that it tends to come off a bit like History Class. I mean, its awesome if that type of thing interests you... if it doesn't, you're forced to learn about turn-of-the-century moviemaking with a whole lot of talking involved. Me personally, quite liked the film, but I can certainly see those who would be quite turned off by it. And i still hold that Chloe Moretz is box office poison. She's definately had her chances. She's kind of in the same boat as Saoirse Ronan. Both actresses can't carry a movie people want to pay to watch. Say what you will about Kristen Stewart, at least she has made some money at the box office with a bankable franchise.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Hugo is a great film with a shite advertising campaign

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    The ads make it look like some cut-rate Harry Potter/Oliver Twist thing with Borat sliding into wedding cakes (doesn't happen in the movie, thankfully), but it's genuinely wonderful, and a Scorsese movie through and through, only minus the violence and naughty words. Serious film fans should give it a shot.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Besides Dustin Lance Black's work on "J. Edgar"

    by ChaunceyGardiner

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:47 p.m. CST

    I really was impressed with what John Logan did with "Hugo"

    by ChaunceyGardiner

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Three Cheers for Hugo

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    Great, great film. Nothing to me like what some people here are saying. If it's a bore to you, then maybe sure maybe Jason Segel and the Muppets are more your speed.

  • They could have literally cast ANY young actress as Bella Swan, and it wouldn't have mattered a lick to Twi-tards, who only see Bella as a carnival cutout they can stick their heads through as they fantasize about being the rope in a tug-of-war between a pair of hottie monsters. Name ONE other movie Stewart has appeared in since the franchise began that made money because she was in it. It's gonna be the same with Jennifer Lawrence with next year's Hunger Games...the book series has a built-in audience that would have went no matter who they cast as Katniss Everdeen. Chloe Moretz isn't "box office poison" yet. She's...what, thirteen? Kick-Ass wasn't a big hit, but it made its modest budget back. Let Me In regrettably underperformed, but it got excellent reviews, as did Hugo. She's going to be a major actress in the years to come, mark my words (as well as a ScarJo-level hottie).

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:59 p.m. CST

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    John Logan really has become a great fit for latter day Scorsese. They both have a great flair for the classical - and I love that Logan's "the Aviator" script pushed Scorsese to make a film about a subject (aviation) that he had no initial interest in but upon haveing read the script was compelled by its themes (obsession, the self-destruction of the genuinely talented and brilliant, the inescapability of fate, the history of film, Jungian themes, fame, etc.). "Hugo" brought out Scorsese's best gifts as a storyteller and told a grand story at that. I was awed at how complete a story it is - and as children's story it is truly talented in its duality of dealing with issues of adulthood in a way that children can relate to, if not completely comprehend, while telling a story that most adults will instantly and profoundly understand as the intuition of our age allows. For children, it hints at the disappointments that are crippling in adulthood, of those things that leave so many emotionally crippled. I work with children and see many already copeing with what it means to have things not work as intended. It is one of those fundamental lessons of existence - and Scorsese and Logan tell it beautifully, useing the story of one brave boy doing what it is he feels he is meant to do: fix things.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 10:48 p.m. CST

    best comedy Your Highness

    by DarthBlart

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 11:35 p.m. CST

    2nd the Meek's Cutoff love

    by Simpsonian

    but I do admit at the time I was a bit perturbed with the ending; I'm more ok with it now. That and the Proposition are about my two favorite westerns.

  • I'll get around to it. But note just because some found it boring has nothing to do with not liking slow paced movies. I have not problem with films like Stalker or The Tree of Life, but I still found Hugo to be a bore. Bridesmaids is another boring film I've watched recently.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 11:53 p.m. CST


    by shodan6672

    Right, which is why the only film of his to win the Best picture Oscar was one of his weakest (The Departed-great, but doesn't even compare to Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, etc.). Ass.

  • Ok cool. Just checking.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Hugo Review

    by locater16

    So, just for the heck of it, I'm going to write and entire review in this post. Hugo is a movie that gets by on charm and merriment; and I highly enjoy those two things. "Whimsical" is a good word to describe it, and for anything whimsical I immediately draw towards such a thing. Heck, I've watched the re-make of "The Parent Trap" more times than is necessarily sane, enjoyed the latest Winnie the Pooh, and am a huge fan (in general) of the My Little Pony series (new one). This is to give context to the statement that Hugo is a whimsical movie that I found somewhat slow and forgettable. Martin Scorsese wanted nothing more than to make a movie that sweeps you off your feet with the magic of movies. The story revolving around [Spoilers, surprsingling enough] **** Georges Méliès, a quite real film maker though the movies portrayal and events are of course fictionalized **** [/Spoilers] As well as Hugo Cabret. Now when I say both parts are well acted by Asa Butterfield and Ben Kingsely (Sorsese finally got the man to get off his ass) I say this with utter respect. Both are really the heart of the story, and yet the material on offer could have been boring flop if these two weren't up to the task. And that is, perhaps, the problem. Make no mistake, the film is very well made. Scorsese pulls both traditional cinematography and 3d out a veritable magic hat and the film looks great because of it. The supporting cast is excellent as well, the vfx are as good as invisible, and just about everything you can think of works wonders. Except for the story itself; which is, as I said, the problem. I found myself watching this movie and smiling and chuckling and being charmed. But only once did the story offer anything beyond that. [Spoilers] **** By way a of a dramatic train crash that turns out to be a nightmare. Never the less so well filmed (and with a reference to a rather famous, you'll see if you go). ***[/Spoilers] Regardless, beyond that one scene I mostly found myself... bemused. Entertained and interested. But the movie drags a little almost all throughout, and never reaches any particular height of either spectacle, emotion, nor anything else that could make it truly memorable and highly enjoyable. In the end I had a good time out at the movie. $12 or so (fairly cheap for a 3d screening at any rate) and two hours well spent. And I suspect anyone else with a love of movies could find much the same. But I was never as enchanted as I felt Scorsese wanted me to be. Nor did I ever feel the happy, carefree joy that can, if only rarely, come with such whimsical fare.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 12:33 a.m. CST

    calm down about HUGO

    by gaygoonie

    it's fine, but it's not this or any year's best. this will be righted over the next few months.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Whoot! Potter in the top 10!

    by Al

    Damn straight. And I don't mean that Potter is ridding a franchise hand-waving hug-fest it's that it's a genuinely great flick. I like Hugo quite a lot, I'm just underneath the "head over heels" aspect some people are at. (Anything too overtly earnest sometimes makes me put my guard up). But it is a damn pretty movie to just absorb. Just saw Descendants a few hours ago, also great, also I'm not 100% in love with it but about 80% I guess. Gonna check up on 13 Assassins and Win, Win next.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 1:10 a.m. CST

    And gonna watch me some Like, Crazy soon-ish too

    by Al


  • Dec. 2, 2011, 1:11 a.m. CST

    make that Like Crazy. No comma. I think.

    by Al

    Eh, I'm a sucker for emo romances, Checkov and Jennifer Lawernce so I'm in.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 1:13 a.m. CST

    And, yes, J Edgar is weaksauce

    by Al

    What is it doing in there? "RRRRRR!! I'm Armie Hammer and I look like Frankenstein!!"

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 1:28 a.m. CST



    Who are you? You have been writing articles for AICN for some time now but I don't remember any kind of formal intro or first article. And now you write more articles for the site than anyone else. :p

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 2:37 a.m. CST

    If Woodley and Plummer win Oscars, I could care less who else wins.

    by Jerry Piper

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 2:39 a.m. CST

    I love Malick, but TOL was just plain awful.

    by Jerry Piper

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 2:45 a.m. CST


    by DaddyP69

    Warrior was the best film of 2011 and someone really needs to fucking list it as such.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 5:34 a.m. CST

    13 Assassins was a fucking mess.

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    Shaolin was a much, much better film. Also, feudal Japan was fucking batshit insane! Strange film. Go see Shaolin instead!

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Is this their first 3-D Best Picture?

    by justmyluck

    What's interesting is that after Cameron and Bay did all those media shop talks about 3-D...seemingly everywhere talking about it...Scorsese arrives and says, "its is a natural progression" and delivers a 3-D experience which blows the 3-D in AVATAR, TRANSFORMERS and everything else to the back of the bus.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Of course film critics adore a film about the magic of film

    by i_got_worms

    It validates that entire existence. They love the smell of their own farts as well.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 6:45 a.m. CST

    More Scorcesse ass-kissing

    by BigTuna


  • Dec. 2, 2011, 6:58 a.m. CST

    "Hugo talkin' to me?"

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Since Tilda Swinton is really Thom Yorke

    by proevad

    How does the whole male/female Oscar thing work this year?

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 7:56 a.m. CST

    and I haven't seen Hugo

    by proevad

    ..but I can tell it's a masterpiece because of the list of asshats on this thread who hated it. Can't wait to watch it.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 7:58 a.m. CST


    by proevad

    What you wrote on J. Edgar was perfect. You should blog. Review movies. You'd be better than half of the pros.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 8:11 a.m. CST

    People need to STOP with the Andy Serkis BS

    by ShiftyEyedDog

    Seriously, it ain't gonna happen. Nor SHOULD it. Does he do a great job? Yes. But Just as much of that performance belongs to the animators who tweaked, adjusted, and fully realized the performance. So unless they find a way to share the award between actors and animators, no mocap performance will ever be nominated.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 8:55 a.m. CST

    "Warrior" was the best film I've seen so far this year.

    by Mr. Waturi

    Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte should both be considered for awards.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 9:01 a.m. CST

    @nasty: Stewart and Moretz

    by tailhook

    The fact of the matter is they didn't cast any young actress, they cast Stewart. And as much as the hugeness of the franchise seems obvious *now*(as most rear-view assessments usually do), the original movie was far from being a slam dunk at the BO at the time and given a paltry budget($37 mil) with a low-rent indie director to match. And the whole thing rode on the shoulders of the two leads. If the twi-nuts don't buy into the chemistry of that relationship, the whole franchise doesn't take off in the way that it did. Per Moretz: Great reviews only get you so far in Hollywood as your films underproduce and investors take a bath on their investment. At some point you have to be able to put butts in seats if you want to be bankable. If she didn't want to be assessed in this way (even at 14), she shouldn't be going for the starring roles and trying to carry a majority of a film on her shoulders while sticking to supporting roles along with voice-overs. So far, what she's selling people aren't buying. Its as simple as that.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    No love for WARRIOR?

    by Logan_1973

    Come on, man...

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 9:09 a.m. CST

    And another thing...

    by Logan_1973

    POTTER was great because the source material was great, not because of anything the filmmakers did. I have zero desire to see another Yates film ever again.

  • I had read them the book, the week prior, then watched multiple silent films that were referenced in the book, with them, on YouTube, prior to seeing the movie. We knew what to expect, walking into the movie. So that may have helped. BTW, we saw The Muppets on the same day. We don't care much for Thanksgiving, so we made the following day, movie day. I don't understand the division between those who enjoyed The Muppets and those who enjoyed Hugo. It's like that weird Harry Potter Twilight rivalry. They have nothing to do with one another. Anyway, you can't go wrong, in my family's opinion, with either film.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Really? Better than Tree of Life?? Really??

    by venvariants

    No way. The previews look so shitty and grating, though - how can this possibly be good?

  • Missing information drives me mad.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 11:12 a.m. CST

    HUGO is the perfect example that all films could be in 3D...

    by moonlightdrive

    However, it would require all film makers to put in the effort to produce excellent 3D work and also for all theaters to be able to exhibit them as they should be seen, with the proper equipment etc. and those are two big asks. The theater equipment is definitely do-able. Obviously with people involved and their varying level of ability and other factors controllable and not controllable, the film maker one isn't so easy.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Chloe is going to be a great actress. The kids got chops

    by Mike Myers

    And comparing to that dead faced egotistical idiot Kristin is a joke.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Serkis doesn't come close to Tim Roth

    by MoaKaka

    I know the Burton POTA sucked, but if we're talking acting, Roth deserved an award way more than Serkis.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Calculating Moretz' box office is idiotic.....

    by darthliquidator

    She's an extraordinarily talented kid...and most likely will mature into a much sought after A-list actress.....and this obsession with applying box office figures to judge an actor's ability is dumb beyond belief. When Jodie Foster was an adolescent, I don't remember anybody judging her career based on box office figures for "Foxes" or "The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane" or "Hotel New Hampshire".....I suppose that all the folks who follow box office like batting averages have declared Elle Fanning dead in the water based on financial figures for "Somewhere", "Phoebe In Wonderland" and "Nutcracker". When it comes to judging actors and actresses' present and future's the talent, people...not the cash.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 11:49 a.m. CST

    I like 3-D movies, if done well

    by MoaKaka

    So sue me. I liked how Avatar looked. I liked watching Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D. Hell, I even liked the 3D in Harold and Kumar's Christmas movie. Ok, the 3D in Harry Potter part 7, part II, sucked. But that whole movie sucked so the 3D was the least of it. Yeah, I know it got good reviews. That's because people are satisfied in seeing a 10-year story come to a conclusion. The plot, acting, special effects, all sucked.

  • No matter what film he makes, yet how about your idol "Marty"? He could film himself shitting in a bucket and it would get nominated.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Eh, of *course* HUGO was nominated by the National Board of Review

    by Orbots Commander

    It's a Scorsese film, apparently about the origins of film. It almost seems as if it was a nomination based on a logline sans an actual screening.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 3:51 p.m. CST

    It would take Scorcese to make something both stunning and stunningly meh.

    by leonardo_dicraprio

    There are plenty of nice moments in this movie, but there's very little life, or truly felt drama, at its heart. Joe Morgenstern's review in the WSJ more-or-less nailed it, in my opinion. But there are clearly plenty of folks who liked it a lot. Not me. Pace isn't the problem--slow is fine--it's just most of Hugo is pretty limp.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 4:25 p.m. CST


    by DaddyP69

    Hoping Golden Globes and Oscars get it right... Fucking NBR.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 6:06 p.m. CST

    hugo will be huge at oscars

    by john

    shame will sweep the indy's....and 13 assasins better at least be nominated for best foreign language film...cuz i wanna see if milke will show up

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 6:07 p.m. CST

    everyone has a right to an opinion

    by john

    but if you didnt like hugo (sorry to be trite) but you just didnt get what marty was doing

  • She makes this movie work. Her performance is terrifying. It makes the fear real. We can all relate to it. It's astounding. The helplessness. It's a fantastic performance that's getting overlooked.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 2:23 p.m. CST

    "Didn't get what Marty was doing"????

    by Hooded Justice

    I got what "Marty" was doing all right: making the most tedious, irrelevant, poorly-written movie I have seen in a very long time. So I guess that was Mission Accomplished for "Marty". But an incredibly dull time for the audience. For those of us who actually enjoy movies, 'Hugo' is a painful experience. It looks gorgeous - and the 3D is superb. But, Jesus, the script is awful: every line is "on the nose" and I'd say 75% of the dialogue unnecessarily repeats itself. It desperately needed some rewrites before it ever went before the cameras. As it is , the film is a disastrous mess, full of redundant scenes and dialogue - and actors who have no idea as to what their characters' motivations are or what they're supposed to be doing. Therefore the scenes have no point to them. This must have been an incredibly frustrating film to make. You could easily cut an hour out of this movie and it would make zero difference to the plot.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    hooded justice you didnt get it

    by john

    thanks for proving my point i suggest you do a little research into what the movie was really about now burn your film geek card...for you have no knowledge of film history

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Restyles' point scoring...

    by Hooded Justice

    Yes, I have proven your point - if your point is to condescend to people whom you assume know less than you. "What the movie was REALLY about?" Oh my! Could it have something to do with Georges Méliès and the magic of early cinema? Perhaps with nostalgic references (literary, cultural and social) to Paris during 'La Belle Époque'? And perhaps with a touch of poignancy through a young orphan's quest to reconnect with his dead father? And the added historical interest of Méliès's bitter fall from grace - only to be re-instated as a cultural giant towards the end of his life? Fire In The Hole! Although I have the privilege of making films (admittedly on a more modest scale than your buddy, "Marty") and although I learned my trade in Paris, where I studied and worked for five years, none of that ever occurred to me! I've been a fool! Thank you for educating me! I guess that when you feel clever enough to work out what a film is REALLY ABOUT, that makes it a GREAT film! So now that we agree that HUGO is a GREAT film, we can ignore certain niggling little issues such as: 1. A lazy, flabby, directionless script; 2. Scenes strung out endlessly, apparently in the hope that they'll somehow 'find' a point; 3. The same scenes repeated in a slightly different location with slightly different dialogue because they failed to discover the point first time; 4. Helpless, directionless actors floundering because they clearly don't know what the point of their weakly-written character is; 5. The fact that no matter how beautiful a film looks, this can't compensate for the absence of a strong plot, strong characters and engaging drama. But being that you appear to be the only one who can properly understand "Marty's" genius, I've no doubt that you will agree with the following sentiments: "On est toujours séduit par la chute de l'artiste maudit. Plus il fait des bêtises, plus on sympathise avec lui, aussi bête qu'il soit." Ah, le bon vieux temps! As I'm sure you're thinking right now!

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST

    I loved Hugo

    by CherryValance

    As a fan of movies I thought it was a fantastic and inspiring experience. I cried for the whole second half of it. It deserves any award it gets. I'm generally not a Scorsese fan but having seen his films and knowing all about his love for film and his work for film restoration, I believe this is his dream film. I'm really happy for him that it came out so perfect.

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Best Picture...

    by Hipshot

    I've seen all year. Favorite Scorsese film. Favorite 3-D film. A meditation on art, death, family, love, courage and healing masquerading as a "kid's" film. No one who loves film could possibly be unmoved by this masterpiece. Scorsese uses 3-D as if he invented it. Wonderful.

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Ladies: occupy hollywood

    by timesfool

    Reading through the talkbacks around here is turning into torture. It's hard to believe so many people think they know what they're talking about. The bankability of Chloe Moritz, for example, the fact that she was cast by Scorcese is all you need to know. He believed in her talent, she got the part. She gave a great, little performance on 30 Rock as well and yes, the girl is definitely going to be going places. As for Stewart, she's been smart enough to stick to smart indies outside of the Twilight franchise, especially the Runaways. The upcoming Snow White, a huge production with a huge media campaign also suggests there are some folks in Hollywood who trust in her talent and are building 'product' around it. There are too few actresses out there who get any sort of real work, who get to play anything other than the girlfriend, the wife, the hooker, the mother, the princess in need of rescue; the real problem isn't with the quality of actresses at all, it is with the quality of parts and if reading this talkback is any indication of the 'male' attitude toward women in films, the fears are justified. There is much too limited a view of what women are and can be and what roles they can be 'assigned.' It's the 21st century and we should have a greater view of our possibilities; instead we keep closing ourselves off. Why women haven't ransacked Hollywood yet is beyond me. That town definitely needs an Occupy movement invasion. Soon.

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    To Quote PATTON...

    by haristas

    Those on the National Board of Review know as much about movies as they do about fornicating!

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 11:05 p.m. CST


    by tailhook

    Lol... maybe you're having a problem that i'm simply treating her the way I would treat any other star? So because she's female, she shouldn't be subject to the same business constraints as every other aspiring star? She's had 3 Class A+++ parts and out of those 3 she's barely made a dent at the box office. People simply aren't turning out to her films. This does not bode well for her prospects in the future, and while the inbreeding of being a Hollywood insider(ZOMG MARTY CAST HER /SWOON) will certainly get her more work, it doesn't last forever if she doesn't landing a hit somewhere. She's simply not a very good return on investment atm. And just in general, the above is the entire reason women(in general) haven't 'ransacked' Hollywood. Because to 'ransack' Hollywood, you have to actually put butts in seats such that money gets generated for you to ransack. Actresses don't get $20 million if they have Moretz-level results.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 3:02 a.m. CST

    @hooded justice

    by biglou114

    Thanks for your list which I have to agree with, if you were talking about The Tree of Life, Hugo on the other hand, was a brilliant piece of filmmaking. I walked into this movie cold (and this coming from a very anti-Scorsese person) and I fell in love with it. Then after it won me over, the Méliès plot line started and I was infatuated. All I have to say is 'Bravo' to all involved with this picture.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST


    by DeadStar

    Should have been a winner!

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    biglou, or should I say, bigPLANT...

    by Hooded Justice

    Don't you people have better things to do than plant fake reviews on websites? It's pathetic - and your bosses shouldn't make you do it. Tell your bosses to focus their energy on making the MOVIES good - NOT on the damage limitation once the movie's out. As I said, to make a good movie, you need to make sure that you have a good script - BEFORE it goes before the cameras. This is no news. It's a golden rule - that's been around since the medium was first used to tell stories.