Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is an orphan who lives in a Paris railway station in the 20s where he maintains the clocks, and their complicated mechanisms, high in the ceiling. His uncle brought him there after his father (Jude Law) died and taught him how to run everything. He lives by stealing food from station restaurants and is often chased by the station policeman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his dog, who likes to catch children and send them to an orphanage.
Hugo, like his father, loves to tinker with and repair mechanisms, especially an automaton his father found. At first he has no friends, but then he meets a lovely young girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who helps out in a pinch. She introduces him to books; he introduces her to movies. Ben Kingsley, who runs a toy store in the station, plays her grandfather and has a secret past.
This is not only a highly entertaining story, but it is a beautiful movie to watch. The sets, effects, camerawork, editing are all wonderful; it’s a real pleasure for the eyes. Directed by Martin Scorsese (and Johnny Depp is a producer) this is a real treat. This is also the best use of 3-D since the gimmick became popular again.
Also especially appealing is how the film-makers include a delightful short history of movies into the story and how French geniuses like the Lumiere brothers and George Melies helped create the art form. Hugo is a magical movie.
Rating: five deer out of five
Next Week on Video
My Idiot Brother with Paul Rudd and Friends with Benefits with Justin Timberlake.
Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.