There are slow movies, and there are unhurried movies. This one is the latter, purposely taking its time in a very precise way. There are lots of long, continuous camera shots that make this a beautiful movie to watch. You almost feel like you’re dreaming when you watch it (or maybe that was just me since I actually watched it in the middle of the night).
I really must have been half asleep, because I didn’t recognize all the familiar faces in this movie at first. I already knew the boy, Asa Butterfield, from The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Ender’s Game, but this film also has Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes), Christopher Lee (Star Wars and Lord of the Rings), Sacha Baron Cohen, and Ben Kingsley, who might be better known for recent movies like Iron Man 3 but will always hold a special place in my heart as the Cosmo from the 1990s classic Sneakers.
Hugo won five Oscars and is based on a very popular kids’ book with the same name. I’ve started reading it, and the story has taken me back to my elementary school addiction to books just like this one. (Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I once landed a spot in the prestigious “green group” during reading time.)
OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: Anyone who was anyone was in the green group. It was the symbol of sophisticated refinement and the undisputed pinnacle of the reading rainbow.
“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
We all have a purpose in this world, and understanding that purpose is the foundation of real happiness. As Hugo also said, “If you lose your purpose…you’re broken.”
And like Hugo, our purpose will be realized when we search unceasingly for the messages from our Father.
I love the words of Neal A. Maxwell: “How can we truly understand who we are unless we know who we were and what we have the power to become? How can there be real identity without real history? How can one understand his tiny, individual plot without knowing, even a little, about Father’s grand, galactic plans?”
Our purpose is the key to finding our way back home. In the concluding words of Isabelle:
“That’s really what this book is going to be about. And about how this singular young man searched hard to find a secret message from his Father, and how that message lead his way, all the way home.”
“Therefore God conversed with men, and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which had been prepared from the foundation of the world; and this he made known unto them according to their faith and repentance and their holy works.” – Alma 12:30