Cait and I went to see Hugo last night. It was a fun movie to watch, with its screen-popping 3D effects, and a marvelously twisted plot that came together well enough at the end. Good acting, beautiful cinematography, interesting characters, and nice to be out alone on the hometown after our holiday week in Chicago. The turn at the end, to the stage and recognition of a lifetime's work, was awfully tender-hearted, if a bit puzzling. Cait and I tried to hash it out a bit on our way home: what had happened, exactly, to that great opening mystery of the automaton, the quest of the orphan to find the message from his father? What did any part of how the movie began have, in the end, to do with film preservation? The movie seemed to jump tracks midway, turning from story to argument, character to idea. It felt a bit like propaganda, which is far too loaded a word to make the comparison exact, but the boy seemed more a reason to start the story, than to end it, and I missed losing him for the argument.
I am not a huge Weezer fan, but they absolutely kill it with their 2008 cover of "O, Holy Night." Who knew a punk cover could find a fresh angle to that most tired chestnut of holiday music? It's ardent, and entirely without sentiment or irony: