This beautiful story takes place in Paris in 1931. Hugo (Asa Butterfield - who will win your heart) is an orphan who lives in the train station, stealing food to survive, repairing the station’s clocks (a family tradition) and hiding from the cruel station master (Sacha Baron Cohen).
There are two things that fascinate Hugo. One is the puzzle of this broken automaton, the mechanical man, he inherited from his watchmaker father (Jude Law). The other is the mysterious station's toy merchant, George (Ben Kingsley).
One day, George catches Hugo trying to steal from him and takes the boy's fathers journal for payment. Eventually, Hugo becomes friends with George's goddaughter, Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz) and together the pair try to solve the riddle of the robot, a quest that takes them in directions they never imagined.
Scorsese is actually paying tribute to a very real character here, the groundbreaking early film fantasist Georges Méliès. He captures the sheer amazement of audiences who are seeing movies for the first time and the wild sense of playful invention that film let loose in early years. Truly that would have been remarkable time to be a part of.
Not only was this movie fun and endearing, but it holds underlining themes of imagination and fate. But for all the issues it tackles throughout the films 127 minutes, it never forgets to be enjoyable. Mostly, though, this beautiful story is a film about wonder. Hugo was also shot in 3-D, which I found completely appropriate. I absolutely adored this movie! I left the theater with smiles. Hugo is pure movie magic.