Director Martin Scorsese’s newest film, “Hugo,” is a masterpiece of classic storytelling. It uses 3D and digital technology to paint magnificent landscapes and portraits in a story of adventure and personal discovery.
Based on the best-selling book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” it is the story of a little boy who lives in the main train station in Paris in the 1930s. The boy, played by Asa Butterfield, who deserve an Oscar nomination, is an Oliver type of kid. His late father, played by Jude Law and seen in flashbacks, took care of the many clocks in the station, and when his Dad perishes in a fire, Hugo takes over his Father’s work and lives among the passages and catwalks of the cavernous building. Like his Dad, Hugo has a love and fascination of artistic mechanisms, especially an automaton left by his father that Hugo wants to get operating again. He feels the automaton will give him a message from his Father.
Also appearing in “Hugo” is Ben Kingsley as a mysterious toy shop owner in the station and Chloe Grace Moertz as a young girl who befriends Hugo in his quests and many adventures. Sacha Baron Cohen has a featured role as the train station inspector who is always chasing Hugo and trying to send him to an orphanage.
There’s a lot more in this script about the early history of filmmaking, but telling you too much about that really isn’t a good idea. Suffice it to say that this beautiful and touching film is a very detailed valentine to many things and people. The movie is constructed with love, great scope and lots of surprises. It is touching and a remarkable experience.
This is the one film in 2011 you do not want to miss.
One word of caution. “Hugo” is not exactly a “kid’s” film. A child would have to be at least 8-years-old with a very good attention span to really enjoy the experience.