Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley
Plot: 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.
Based on Brian Selznick's graphic novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret
After a screening that James Cameron attended, he called the film a "masterpiece" and told Martin Scorsese it was the best use of 3D he had seen, including his own films.
The cam mechanism in the automaton is heavily inspired by the machinery in the Jaquet-Droz automata, built between 1768 and 1774. Indeed these automata are still in working condition (they can be seen at the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire of Neuchâtel, in Switzerland) and are capable of drawing figures as complicated as the drawing depicted in the film. Many nuances such as the head following the pen as it was drawing and dipping the pen in ink were also present in the automata in real life.
Ben Kingsley based his characterization of Georges Méliès on Martin Scorsese.
When Hugo shows Isabel the clock passageways, she says "I feel just like Jean Valjean!" Jean Valjean is the protagonist in the Victor Hugo novel "Les Míserables". Sacha Baron Cohen who played the policeman in this film, played the con man Thernardier who bothers Jean Valjean in Les Misérables (2012).
The poem Isabelle recites in the train station to Inspector Gustav is "A Birthday" by Christina Georgina Rossetti.
The first 3D movie directed by Martin Scorsese.
Georges Méliès was a French illusionist and film director famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema. Méliès was an especially prolific innovator in the use of special effects, popularizing such techniques as substitution splices, multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color.
The film takes place in 1931.
The author of the book Brian Selznick can be seen at the very end of the movie at Méliès' apartment. He is the one wearing glasses following behind Méliès and the film professor.
The train station depicted is the Gare Montparnasse. The real life Georges Méliès did in fact work as a toymaker at that station after World War I. The derailment scene during Hugo's dream is a reference to the famous 1895 derailment at the station.