Over the years, veteran film-maker Martin Scorsese has given us unforgettable films that'll endure as all time classics. Scorsese films are generally gritty adult themed affairs, but Hugo sees a new vision by the auteur that is different than anything he has ever conjured. Yet, it seems the closest to his heart. The epic family adventure is also Scorsese's first brush with 3D, an effort regarded by James Cameron as “A 'masterpiece’, and the best use of 3D he has ever seen”. Based on Brian Selznick's imaginative New York Times Bestseller, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", Hugo has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards (the highest for any movie this year), including the most coveted honors - Best Director and Best Motion Picture of the Year.
Hugo is the tale of an orphan Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), living secretly inside the walls of a Paris Train Station in the 1930's. A secret world in it's own with winding stairs and giant clockwork machinery, made marvelous by the gorgeous use of 3D. Hugo spends his time maintaining the machinery of the giant clocks, and thereby avoiding any inquiry inside the walls, by the officials, that may lay bare his secret abode. Enthralled by the working of machines, a passion he shared with his father (Jude Law), Hugo's ambition is to repair a shiny automaton in the shape of a man, that was left by his father, in the hopes of discovering a secret message. Resorting to thievery, he runs into an aging toy shop owner (brilliantly played by the veteran British actor Ben Kingsley) who has his own secrets, connected to the automaton.
Driven by curiosity, he is befriended by Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz), the radiant god-daughter of the toy maker. Together they begin to unravel the mystery of the automaton, and it's connection to the toy-maker and a forgotten legend of Cinema, Georges Méliès. But in their path lies the Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) obsessed with catching orphans. In his new avatar, Sacha Baron is hardly recognizable as the actor known for some of the wildest and most controversial mockumentaries of our times.
While the latter half of Hugo feels like a homage to early crafts of film-making in the silent era and might be too nostalgic and matured in it’s appeal to truly connect with the younger audiences, the ecosystem of an entire train station and it's inner workings are presented with stellar detail and vision to keep everyone enamored with its visual spectacle. Hugo is the David Copperfield of our times, crafted by a visionary film-maker with the tools of technology and 3D.