Martin Scorsese is not one to make family films, let alone produce films on anything but celluloid. Yet, Hugo is just that, a family film shot on digital and available in 3D. However, the film’s content is about the love of cinema and an early case of the necessity of film preservation. These oppositions allow this 2011 fantasy to muster up all sorts of issues and topics, even if it not about the main character’s struggle.
After his father (Jude Law) dies in a museum fire, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is taking in by his uncle who is responsible for maintaining the station’s clock. Both Hugo’s father and uncle are expert watchmakers and mechanics, and their talents have been passed down to Hugo. Hugo is puzzled by the automaton that his father was working on prior to his death, of which Hugo believes has a message to him from his father. After a chance meeting with George Méliès (Ben Kingsley) who owns a toy store in the station, Hugo befriends Méliès’ god daughter (Chloë Grace Moretz). Together, the two collaborate to fix the automaton while circumventing the station’s Inspector Gustlav (Sacha Baron Cohen).