Last week I was invited to supper at a friend’s so Danny, our local telephone man, could introduce me to a video-streaming service called Roku. I had recently been having a lot of trouble (excessive buffering and sound and video being out-of-sync) streaming movies and TV shows on my computer, and the purchase of this $75 device brought me once again into the company of the living.
Unfortunately, it has also brought me into the company of the unproductive. I have been a couch potato ever since I began binging on the movies which have so long not been on my diet of consumables.
Most everything I have watched so far has not been memorable. But I did watch one movie worth noting, Martin Scorsese’s 2011 Hugo, the story of an orphaned boy, Hugo Cabret, who lives alone in the Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris, keeping the clocks of the station working.
The film stars, among others, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helen McCrory, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, and Christopher Lee. You may think of this post as “old news”–the film was received with critical acclaim, and at the 84th Academy Awards, Hugo won five Oscars and eleven total nominations, the most for the evening–but it’s new news to me. (I am that isolated.)
Yesterday I received a call from my Hollywood friend, who told me that Asa Butterfield, the star of this film, is being promoted as the “next big thing” in films and TV.
Butterfield was born in 1997 in London and started acting at the age of 7. He secured minor roles in the 2006 television drama After Thomas, the 2007 film Son of Rainbow, and 2008′s Ashes to Ashes. In that same year, aged 10, he played the lead role in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. He also played Mordred in a number of episodes of Merlin, and had a small part in The Wolfman. At the age of 12 he appeared in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang. At the age of 13 he played the main and title character in Hugo, and now he will play the title role of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin in the upcoming film adaptation of the novel Ender’s Game, which completed filming in the first half of 2012 and is scheduled for theatrical release on November 1, 2013.
Ender’s Game is likely to be a big hit when it is released. It is the science fiction story of a future in which government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers in order to develop a secure defense against the next attack of hostile alien race. A brilliant young boy, Ender is drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training, where he becomes a leader.
Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders–issues that parallel the experiences of the young people we serve. It is first and foremost a tale of humanity, a tale of a boy struggling to grow up into someone he can respect while living in an environment stripped of choices. I’m looking forward to eventually seeing it.
Well, I have at least gotten a post written today… and I now return to (what else?) my movie marathon.
Groove of the Day