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Movie Versus Book: Oscar Winner 'Hugo'

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Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

For each of this year's six Academy Award-nominated films that began as paperbound stories, we've found one reviewer who has only read the book, and one reviewer who has only seen the movie. We asked them about characters, plot points and dramatic moments to see how one differs from the other, and to try and ascertain which is more worthy of your time.

So far, we've checked out "Moneyball," "The Descendants," "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" and "War Horse." Today, we'll take a look at "Hugo," the charming children's book adaptation that swept the technical fields at the Academy Awards last night, taking home five trophies.

One of two movies about movies to gain recognition at the Oscars this year, "Hugo" is the story of an orphaned boy who lives in a railway station, befriending an oddball toyshop owner and avoiding the irksome station inspector. His aim in both the film and the book is to repair a broken automaton -- a mechanical man who he assumes contains a message from his cinema-loving father. Interestingly, Hugo's father adores movies by Georges Méliès, an early 20th century filmmaker known for his experimental cinematography.

Apparently the prize-winning art direction and visual effects in "Hugo" are a nod to the novel, which our reviewer, Lisa Love, says will entertain "anyone who appreciates great art. The drawings are truly what make the book so memorable." She gives the book five out of five stars, whereas our Moviefone team gives the film three, saying it's best for "Martin Scorsese completists" and "film historians."

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