Not often do I wholeheartedly approve of a book-to-movie production, but upon seeing HUGO, the movie adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I felt like shouting “Bravo!” I have to drive at least 30 minutes to get to a movie theatre, so I must admit that I don’t get out much to experience the silver screen. Most often, what I do see is based on books I’ve read. The last few movies I took the trouble to go see were Harry Potter or Twilight films. I just wait for the DVD (sitting at home on my couch with a stack of good books, this is easy to do). But when I saw the previews for Hugo, I knew I had to make the effort to go see this film – because when I first read the book, I thought, “Wonder who is going to make this movie?” Some books you just know are destined for the big screen – they are that good. Some books feel like they were written in hopes of finding themselves on the big screen – they are that bad. Selznick’s book is perfect as a book – the illustrations and text make a winning (excuse the Caldecott pun, folks) combination. I even loved the audio of The Invention of Hugo Cabret – it does make a good story, even without the illustrations. The visuals, though, are what make the story rich and filled with even more life. And that’s just what the movie did—took these brilliant black and white illustrations and built on them with a bit of movie magic and a stellar cast. I can hardly wait for the DVD to come out so that I can watch the movie at home with book in hand to compare the visual scenes in the movie with the visual scenes in the book. I’m not in the least surprised that this movie has Oscar nominations. I’m just glad that the little gold statue will bring even more attention to that genre we all love so well—good books for kids. Bravo!
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