Hugo (Howard Shore)
Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick is a significant departure from the director’s usual style, but is a truly magical film, easily one of the year’s best, telling the story of a young orphan who winds the clocks in a Paris train station, where he encounters a shopkeeper with an amazing past. Rightly acclaimed as one of the best films of the year, it earned Scorsese a Golden Globe for his work, and hopefully will earn him a long overdue second Academy Award as well.
Scorsese assembled his regular crew for the film, which includes his now regular composer Howard Shore, who first worked with him on After Hours in 1985. If the film is a departure for Scorsese, then it is too for Shore, who, of course is best known for his legendary Lord of the Rings scores, which won him three Oscars and are amongst the most successful of all time. Until now, however, his scores since Lord of the Rings have generally been for serious dramas, so it’s great to see him make a return to the adventure genre.
From beginning to end, the score for Hugo is an absolute delight. The set of themes are excellent and very consistent, particularly, the main theme, a waltz for accordion first introduced in “The Thief” and making many appearances throughout the score, and also serving as the theme for the wonderful song “Coeur Volant”, heard over the closing credits. Also noteworthy is the “mystery” theme, which makes its first appearance in delicate piano performances in “The Clocks”, and is later developed to a fuller extent in “Hugo’s Father”. The comedy in the film is mostly due to the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), who is represented by an unsteady march first introduced in “The Chase”. The best cue is easily “The Invention Of Dreams”, with its beautiful melody and rich orchestration.
Without question, this is one of my five top scores of 2011, and I’ll be very surprised if Shore isn’t up for a fourth Academy Award for his work here. It’s easily his best work since Lord of the Rings, and accompanies one of the finest films to come out of Hollywood in a while, whilst still making a hugely enjoyable listening experience on its lengthy album. Highly recommended.
01. The Thief (4:21)
02. The Chase (2:50)
03. The Clocks (4:28)
04. Snowfall (1:51)
05. Hugo’s Father (3:25)
06. Ashes (2:33)
07. The Station Inspector (1:10)
08. Bookstore (1:52)
09. The Movies (1:29)
10. The Message (4:37)
11. The Armoire (2:33)
12. Purpose (2:04)
13. The Plan (2:49)
14. Trains (2:50)
15. Papa Georges Made Movies (1:53)
16. The Invention Of Dreams (6:29)
17. A Ghost In The Station (6:01)
18. A Train Arrives In The Station (3:26)
19. The Magician (2:34)
20. Coeur Volant (4:19)
21. Winding It Up (4:11)
Total Time: 67 minutes.
Music Composed, Orchestrated and Conducted by Howard Shore
“Coeur Volant” Written by written by Elizabeth Cotnoir, Isabelle Geffroy, & Howard Shore. Performed by Zaz
Album Produced by Howard Shore & Jonathan Schultz
Nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA, and an Oscar.
The liner notes contain no information about the score or film.
All images and artwork are Copyright © Howe Records.