Hugo Cabret and Sir Isaac Newton

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

With the amazingly rare freedom lent by Winter (WINNER)  Break, I decided upon a trip to the movies to see Hugo, a film based upon the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. The book follows the story of a boy, Hugo Cabret, who lives alone in a 1930s train station fixing clocks. After spending the majority of his life lurking in shadows and observing the crowds, he meets a vendor in the train station with mysteries bigger than his own. Told through a myriad of sketches and orphan adventures, the novel examines the old-school life of  filmmaker George Melies with a fresh lens.

Overall, the screenplay followed the original story well. There were several action scenes added — but that’s just Hollywood trying to stretch a kid’s book into a two hour motion picture like taffy by adding more of the sticky sweet stuff. The only real irritation, chaps, was the British accent belonging to most of the French characters.  But maybe that’s just because I’m a francophile. Yet the film still left something to be desired. Despite its beautiful, historical setting, Sacha Baron Cohen’s magnificent Station Inspector character, and the masterful 3D (seriously, this movie is only REALLY worth it if you see what new 3D techniques they’ve used) the movie still paled in comparison to the book. Because that’s just one of Newton’s laws. “A picture in motion remains inferior to the original text.”

This law is the reason I’ve joined the campaign “Read It 1st,” in an effort NOT to ruin the MAGIC of the book before seeing the 3D flick. And you can too — with a simple pledge to read the book first, you can recieve a newsletter emailed from New York Times bestselling YA author John Green, containing a list of books scheduled for upcoming theater adaptations, along with recommendations for which book-based movies to see. To take the pledge, visit It’s simple, it’s convenient and it’ll save you from the temptation!

Take the Pledge!

-Maddie, 15

Teen Center Advisor

P.S. To all John Green fans, he is coming to Third Place Books in Seattle on January 30th! Tickets to attend come with the preorder of his latest YA novel, The Fault in Our Stars (release 1/12), from Third Place Books. Mark your calendars and put your name down for a copy! DFTBA.

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