Martin Scorsese isn’t known for his Christian movies. The Wolf Of Wall Street, Shutter Island, The Departed. Pretty bleak stuff. But here’s three reasons Hugo is one of most profound movies he’s ever made.
Everyone in Hugo has lost something. Parents. Siblings. Careers. Hope.
Hugo wants to fix a mechanical man he hopes has a message from his late father, anything to make him less alone. Most of the people he encounters are broken like his machine. Broken. Alone. As he looks for hope, he brings healing to a despairing old man and helps an embittered policeman find redemption.
There are no trite lines or feeble pats on the back. Hugo knows loss and loneliness are real, but so are grace and healing.
At first, there seem to be a lot of throwaway plots. Why are all these extra people here? But as the movie builds, we see that no person or plot is thrown in for no reason. Hugo tells Isabelle that machines don’t come with extra parts. Everyone has a purpose even if they don’t know what it is. Finding that purpose can be hard and painful, but the movie insists it’s worth it.
Everything Scorsese does in this film is carefully chosen. On a technical level, Hugo is nearly flawless and visually stunning. I hope film professors somewhere are using it to teach lighting, pacing, framing, and using CGI.
Like a director, God guides everything in history to His purposes. Hugo’s machine doesn’t have extra parts; neither does God’s creation. He molds beautiful, purposeful things the way Scorsese crafts believable characters and masterful shots.
Content-wise, there isn’t a lot to make even the most cautious viewer flinch. I feel clean as the credits roll, and I’m reminded that life does have purpose even in the middle of struggles. Hugo is technically a children’s movie, but it’s the most profound movie Martin Scorsese has ever made.