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National Board Of Review President Reveals Why 'Hugo' Is Such An Important Film

Wed, December 7, 2011 4:38pm EDT by 1 Comment

Martin Scorcese’s 3D drama received the NBR’s awards for Best Film & Best Director.

It’s not everyday that a film manages to employ contemporary techniques while also showcasing classic cinematic principals — and that’s exactly why Martin Scorcese‘s Hugo received the Best Film and Best Director honors from the National Board of Review. “It’s a such a personal film to [Scorcese], and it’s just so thrilling,” NBR President Annie Schulhof tells of the thought process behind the board’s decision. “It brings film history to a new generation of filmgoers. We’re honoring our film past and celebrating it by bringing it forward.”

For those of you who haven’t gotten a chance to see Hugo yet — and you really should — it tells the story of a young boy named Hugo (Asa Butterfield), whose relationships with his late father and best friend are revealed to have strong, moving connections to the works of French filmmaker Georges Méliès.

Schulhof believes that, regardless of a moviegoer’s depth of knowledge about Méliès’ work, everyone can appreciate Hugo on their own level.

“Like with any art form, it’s subjective,” Schulhof reminds us. “It has a wonderful message for everybody. Some parents are taking their children, and it’s a wonderful film that reaches out to them because of the little boy. But it can be reached and other chi

Another inclusion on the NBR’s list that fascinated us was Shailene Woodley‘s Best Supporting Actress win for her role in The Descendants. We all know her as plucky teen mom Amy Juergens on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager — but as far as her understated acting prowess, Schulhof believes Shailene’s secret is officially out.

George Clooney is just wonderful in this film — he’s really the heart and soul — and [Shailene] holds her own on the screen with him,” Schulhof notes. “It’s a very special relationship that you’re getting to see on screen. I’m assuming that if she’s been laying low, the cover is broken.”

Click here to see the complete list of this year’s NBR awards.