Hugo is a 2011 3D adventure drama film based on Brian Selznick’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, about a boy who lives alone in a Paris railway station, and the enigmatic owner of a toy shop there. It is directed by Martin Scorsese and written by John Logan. It is a co-production of Graham King’s GK Films and Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil. The film stars Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, and Jude Law.
Hugo is Scorsese’s first film shot in 3D, of which the filmmaker remarked: “I found 3D to be really interesting, because the actors were more upfront emotionally. Their slightest move, their slightest intention is picked up much more precisely”. The film was released in the U.S. on 23 November 2011, with distribution by Paramount Pictures in that country.
Hugo is a fantasy adventure that takes place in a Paris railway station in the early 1930s. Hugo Cabret is a young boy whose mother has died and who lives with his father, a master clockmaker, who takes him to see films and loves the films of Georges Méliès best of all. Hugo’s father dies in a museum fire, and Hugo is taken away by his uncle, an alcoholic watchmaker who is responsible for maintaining the clocks in the railway station. His uncle teaches him to take care of the clocks and disappears. Hugo lives between the walls of the train station, maintaining the clocks, stealing food and working on his father’s most ambitious project: a broken automaton — a mechanical man who is supposed to write with a pen, which Hugo’s father had found and hoped to repair. Hugo steals mechanical parts in the station to repair the automaton, but he is caught by a toy store owner, who takes away Hugo’s blueprints for the automaton. The automaton is missing one part — a heart–shaped key. Convinced that the automaton contains a message from his father, Hugo goes through desperate lengths to fix the machine. He gains the assistance of Isabelle, a girl close to his age and the goddaughter of the toy shop owner, and he introduces Isabelle to the movies, which her godfather has never let her see. Isabelle turns out to have the key to the automaton, which unlocks it to produce a drawing of a film scene Hugo remembers his father telling him about. They discover that the film was created by Georges Méliès, Isabelle’s godfather, an early — but now neglected and disillusioned — cinema legend, and that the automaton was a beloved creation of his from his days as a magician. In the end, the children reconnect Georges with his past and with a new generation of cinema aficionados which has come to appreciate his work.
Ben Kingsley as Papa Georges, the toy shop owner
Asa Butterfield as Hugo Cabret
Chloë Grace Moretz as Isabelle, Georges’ goddaughter
Sacha Baron Cohen as Inspector Gustav
Jude Law as Hugo’s father, a clockmaker
Christopher Lee as Monsieur Labisse, the bookshop owner
Helen McCrory as Mama Jeanne, Georges’ wife
Michael Stuhlbarg as René Tabard, a film historian
Emily Mortimer as Lisette, the flower girl
Ray Winstone as Claude Cabret, Hugo’s uncle.
Frances de la Tour as Madame Emile, the owner of the café
Richard Griffiths as Monsieur Frick, the newspaper seller
Marco Aponte as train engineer assistant