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Welcome to a magical world of spectacular adventure! When wily and resourceful Hugo discovers a secret left by his father, he unlocks a mystery and embarks on a quest that will transform those around him and lead to a safe and loving place he can call home. Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese invites you to experience a thrilling journey that critics are calling “the stuff that dreams are made of.” *Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
In resourceful orphan Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield, an Oliver Twist-like charmer), Martin Scorsese finds the perfect vessel for his silver-screen passion: this is a movie about movies (fittingly, the 3-D effects are spectacular). After his clockmaker father (Jude Law) perishes in a museum fire, Hugo goes to live with his Uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), a drunkard who maintains the clocks at a Paris train station. When Claude disappears, Hugo carries on his work and fends for himself by stealing food from area merchants. In his free time, he attempts to repair an automaton his father rescued from the museum, while trying to evade the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), a World War I veteran with no sympathy for lawbreakers. When Georges (Ben Kingsley), a toymaker, catches Hugo stealing parts for his mechanical man, he recruits him as an assistant to repay his debt. If Georges is guarded, his open-hearted ward, Isabelle (Chloë Moretz), introduces Hugo to a kindly bookseller (Christopher Lee), who directs them to a motion-picture museum, where they meet film scholar René (Boardwalk Empire's Michael Stuhlbarg). In helping unlock the secret of the automaton, they learn about the roots of cinema, starting with the Lumière brothers, and give a forgotten movie pioneer his due, thus illustrating the importance of film preservation, a cause to which the director has dedicated his life. If Scorsese's adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret isn't his most autobiographical work, it just may be his most personal. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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I had the good fortune to see this film in 3-D in theaters, and the effect is used to its fullest potential here. If you don't have 3-D TV, you're still in for a treat; if you do, you're in for a bigger treat.
My one grievance is that there is no audio commentary track. As a cinephile, I would very much have loved to hear Mr. Scorcese and/or a film historian discuss the minutiae of this richly detailed film.
3D Effects: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Hugo was one of those cinematic experiences I occasionally have in which I feel a need to pen a letter of apology once it was finished. As a young cinephile just getting my feet wet in film, I did what I thought we all were supposed to do; worship at the altar of Martin Scorsese. During my second Film Studies class, I struck a deal with my professor where he let me complete a career retrospective in place of making a short film for my final project. I was thrilled that my professor agreed to this deal, as writing a 60-page paper seemed like less of a daunting undertaking than operating a camera. I knew I was going to pick Martin Scorsese before I knew if my professor was going to let this happen or not. With his help, I watched every film Scorsese ever made from Who's That Knocking at My Door to Shutter Island. Not only did I see all of his full-length features but I also saw a great deal of his shorts and documentaries. It was supposed to be a cathartic experience of me getting as close as possible to the director I loved until it wasn't. That's not to say I didn't enjoy and appreciate many of Scorsese's films--I did, but I also learned that his enormous contribution to cinema didn't necessitate him being my favorite director. It's unfortunate that this project was one year too early to have Hugo included because once this project was complete, I tended to shy away from Scorsese films that came after, for a spell anyway. I missed seeing Hugo in the theatre, how could I have known I would have loved it so much and it would have been about one of my favorite cinematic subjects? Georges Méliès was one of my first cinematic idols, and he remains one today, as I am finally completely healed from my tattoo immortalizing his iconic image of the moon with a rocket that landed on its eye. I even attempted my own version of a shot-by-shot re-imagining of A Trip to the Moon, achieved by painting 146 individual canvas screens photographed to appear as though they move; an intensive labor of love that has never seen the light of day. Georges Méliès life being portrayed on screen would have been enough to get me to a theatre had I not been in such a Scorsese burn-out that I never even bothered to read what his 2011 film was about when Hugo hit theatres. Starring Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, and Chloë Grace Moretz, Hugo is a brilliant spectacle that would make even the most devout skeptic believe in magic.
Based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Hugo follows an orphan boy who lives in the clock mechanism of the train station keeping the train clocks running so he can have a place to live undetected avoiding the orphanage. Still reeling from the death of his father, Hugo (Asa Butterfield) painstakingly works to repair an automaton (mechanical man) that his father instructed would only be complete with a unique key. Once Hugo finds the key, he will know what secret it contains and retrieves the last message his father sent him. While attempting to find the key, Hugo crosses paths with a shop owner Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) who believes him to be a thief. When Hugo meets Georges' goddaughter, Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is always looking for an adventure, Hugo learns that their paths were destined to cross in ways he could have never imagined.
Hugo is one of the most beautiful films to look at that I have ever seen. Scorsese's outpouring of love to classic cinema and film preservation couldn't have tugged any harder on my heart strings if that had been the intention. Every single shot is gorgeous, capturing Scorsese's grand production design and exquisite colors. This is a film for us, for cinephiles, for the ones who don't feel the magic in any other setting than a dark theatre. Hugo is for the ones who dream in 16 millimeter and can't imagine a life without cinema. Hugo encompasses everything a cinephile feels in their heart when a film begins to roll, proving that "the movies are our special place."
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Great for children and adults.
Film is excellent!
A little of everything!