Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: John Logan (screenplay), Brian Selznick (book)
Stars: Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz
Runtime: 126 min
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Synopsis: Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. He learned to fix clocks and other gadgets from his father and uncle which he puts to use keeping the train station clocks running. The only thing that he has left that connects him to his dead father is an automaton (mechanical man) that doesn’t work without a special key. Hugo needs to find the key to unlock the secret he believes it contains. On his adventures, he meets George Melies, a shopkeeper, who works in the train station, and his adventure-seeking god-daughter. Hugo finds that they have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton, and he discovers it unlocks some memories the old man has buried inside regarding his past.
In Paris in 1931, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), a 12-year-old boy, lives with his widowed father, a kind and devoted master clockmaker. Hugo’s father (Jude Law) takes him to see films and loves the films of Georges Méliès best of all. (Méliès is an historical figure, a pioneer of the cinema.) Hugo’s father is burned alive in a museum fire, and Hugo is taken away by his uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), an alcoholic watchmaker who is responsible for maintaining the clocks in the Gare Montparnasse, a Paris railway station. His uncle teaches him to take care of the clocks, then disappears.
Hugo lives between the walls of the station, maintaining the clocks, stealing food and working on his father’s most ambitious project: repairing a broken automaton, a mechanical man who is supposed to write with a pen. Convinced that the automaton contains a message from his father, Hugo goes to desperate lengths to fix it. Hugo steals mechanical parts in the station to repair the automaton, but he is caught by a shopkeeper named Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley), who makes, sells, and repairs toys. Méliès sets a trap with a toy mouse and catches Hugo, then takes Hugo’s notebook, which holds his notes and drawings for fixing the automaton. Hugo presses for the return of his notebook, so the angry Méliès — who’s very interested in the notebook — shouts at him, calling him a thief. Hugo runs. The Train Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), who is a handicapped gendarme, and his hound dog run after Hugo, pushing customers out of their way.
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