Director Martin Scorsese stands at the helm of the visually stunning movie Hugo. Based on an illustrated novel and set in the 1930s, the story introduces Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), an orphan who lives in the internal chambers of the Paris train station. Brought there by his drunken and now absent uncle (Ray Winstone), he secretly winds and repairs the multitude of clocks in the building in hopes no one will realize the older man is gone.
Wandering among the shops, he survives by stealing food while avoiding the station inspector (Sasha Baron Cohen) who patrols the depot for homeless children. In his tiny quarters, the lonely boy’s only companion is an automaton his father (Jude Law) found in storage at a museum. Tinkering away every evening, Hugo tries to repair the mechanical human figure.
Meanwhile the station’s toyshop owner Georges Méliés (Ben Kingsley) reacts coolly when his goddaughter Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) befriends Hugo. He knows the boy steals parts and tools from him. Yet only slowly does the connection between Georges and Hugo become apparent.
Lasting over two hours, this movie may be too long for family viewing with younger audiences. As well, the script expands to include a host of secondary characters and a storyline with some historical significance, which will thrill film buffs but may bore children and some teens.
Employing phenomenal sets and a strong musical score, Scorsese applies amazing 3D effects that leave viewers teetering on the ledge of a clock tower or staring down the workings of a giant timepiece. However for audiences used to sugarcoated entertainment, this beautifully plated production will likely be far more substantial than expected.
This movie is also known as Hugo Cabret.