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Hugo (film)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search Hugo

Theatrical release poster

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Produced by Graham King

Timothy Headington

Martin Scorsese

Johnny Depp

Screenplay by John Logan

Based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

Starring Ben Kingsley

Sacha Baron Cohen

Asa Butterfield

Chloë Grace Moretz

Ray Winstone

Emily Mortimer

Christopher Lee

Helen McCrory

Michael Stuhlbarg

Frances de la Tour

Richard Griffiths

Jude Law

Music by Howard Shore

Cinematography Robert Richardson

Editing by Thelma Schoonmaker

Studio GK Films

Infinitum Nihil

Distributed by Paramount Pictures (Worldwide)

Entertainment Film Distributors (UK)

Release date(s) November 23, 2011 (2011-11-23)


Running time 128 minutes

Country United Kingdom

United States


Language English

Budget $150 to $170 million[2]

Box office $185,770,160[3]

Hugo is a 2011 3D historical adventure drama film based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret about a boy who lives alone in the Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris. It is directed and co-produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. It is a co-production between Viacom's Nickelodeon Movies, Graham King's GK Films and Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil. The film stars Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helen McCrory, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, and Christopher Lee.

Hugo is Scorsese's first film shot in 3D, of which the filmmaker remarked: "I found 3D to be really interesting, because the actors were more upfront emotionally. Their slightest move, their slightest intention is picked up much more precisely."[4] The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and released in the U.S. on 23 November 2011.[5]

The film was received with critical acclaim, with many critics praising the visuals, acting, and direction. At the 84th Academy Awards, Hugo won five Oscars—for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing—and its 11 total nominations (including Best Picture) was the most for the evening.[6] Hugo also won two BAFTAs and was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, earning Scorsese his third Golden Globe Award for Best Director.

Contents [hide]

1 Plot

2 Cast

3 Production

4 Historical references

5 Box office performance

6 Critical reception

7 Top ten lists

8 Accolades

9 References

10 External links

[edit] PlotIn 1931, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is a 12-year-old boy living in the walls of the Paris Gare Montparnasse railway station, where he mends the station's clocks. Previously, he was raised by his widowed father, a museum worker (Jude Law). His father had doted on Hugo, teaching him the art of repairing mechanical devices, taking him to movies, and showing him how he was repairing an automaton (mechanical man) that supposedly could write a message. After his father was killed in a museum fire Hugo was taken in by his alcoholic uncle Claude (Ray Winstone) who showed little sentiment for Hugo but taught the boy how to maintain the clocks at the station. When Claude disappears, Hugo continues to maintain the clocks while eking out a living by stealing food and supplies. All the while Hugo lives in fear that if the vigilant Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) were to discover him, he would be turned over to an orphanage.

Hugo continues the work on the automaton. Relying on his father's notebook for insight, he steals the required parts wherever he can, including from the shop of a toymaker who makes and sells mechanical toys. One day, he is finally caught by the bitter toymaker, Papa Georges (Ben Kingsley), who has long known that Hugo robs him. Georges looks through Hugo's father's notebook, is evidently strongly affected by it, and keeps it despite Hugo's protests. Hugo is forced to trail Georges to his home to retrieve it. There, he meets Georges' goddaughter, Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), who promises to help.

At the station on the following day Georges gives some ashes to Hugo, referring them as the remains of the notebook. Later, Isabelle tells him that the notebook was not burnt, adding that the notebook has somehow deeply disturbed her Papa Georges. Finally, Georges tells Hugo that he may earn his notebook back if he works in the toy store every day to pay for all the items Hugo stole. During his free time, Hugo continues to work on the automaton. When it is finished, however, it is still missing one part: a heart-shaped key that goes into the back of the automaton to make it work.

As the two grow close together, Hugo takes Isabelle to the movies, something that Georges would never let her do, while she introduces him to a bookstore owner (Christopher Lee) who has loaned her books in the past.

A Georges Méliès drawing similar to the one drawn by the automaton in the filmHugo is surprised to find that Isabelle wears a heart-shaped key as a necklace. He asks to borrow it, but Isabelle refuses to lend the key to Hugo unless he tells her why he needs it. At first Hugo declines, but his desire to see the automaton operate eventually leads him to take Isabelle to see the automaton. They use the key to start the automaton, and watch as it draws out an iconic image from the film Voyage to the Moon by the film pioneer Georges Méliès. When the automaton writes a signature beneath the drawing, Isabelle recognizes the name as her godfather's own. They take the drawing to Georges' home for an explanation. They ask Isabelle's godmother Mama Jeanne (Helen McCrory) but she will not tell them anything. As Georges arrives home, Jeanne forces the children into a back room, where they find a hidden compartment in an armoire. In the compartment is a small chest containing a copy of the automaton's drawing, along with many other drawings. The noise of a collapsing chair draws Georges into the room, and he throws Hugo out, feeling betrayed.

Some time later, Hugo and Isabelle discuss Méliès with the bookstore owner; he directs them to the library, telling them just where they may find a book on the history of film. As they read the book, its author, Rene Tabard (Michael Stuhlbarg), appears and describes his love for Méliès's work. The book asserts that Méliès died during World War I, but the children convince Tabard that the filmmaker is still alive. Tabard reveals he has the last known copy of Voyage, and Hugo suggests that they go to the Georges' house to watch it the next evening. That night, Hugo has a dream where he finds a golden heart-shaped key lying on a railbed in the station but is run over by an approaching train and his dream ends with images of the Gare Montparnasse accident of 1895.

The next evening, Jeanne is hesitant about letting them show the film until Tabard recognizes her as Jeanne d'Alcy, a frequent and beautiful actress in many of Méliès' films. When the film finishes, Georges comes out, and emotionally reveals himself to be Méliès, recalling his filmmaking career. He transformed his illusionist skills into the special effects he used for his movies to bring his vivid imagination to life. However, after the horrors of World War I, his films lost popularity with the jaded and disillusioned population, and he became ruined, selling the films to be melted down to chemicals, used to mold shoe heels, and quietly disappeared as a toy maker to sustain himself and Jeanne. Georges is despondent, believing all of his former film materials were otherwise destroyed in a museum fire, leading Hugo to recall the automaton.

Hugo races back to the station to get the automaton (intending to use it as a surprise for Georges), but before he can retrieve it, he is discovered by the Station Inspector who reveals that Claude's body had been discovered in the River Seine. The Inspector now knows Hugo is an orphan. During the ensuing chase, Hugo climbs up the clock tower and is forced to climb onto the clock hands to hide from the Inspector. When he goes away, Hugo quickly climbs back in and gets the automaton but is quickly cornered again by the Inspector and the automaton is thrown onto the railway tracks. Despite the approach of an oncoming train, Hugo jumps onto the tracks to recover the automaton. With no time to climb back up onto the platform to save himself and the automaton, Hugo appears to face certain death from the oncoming train. However, the Inspector saves Hugo at the last moment. As the Inspector decides whether or not to arrest Hugo, Georges arrives and asserts that Hugo is now in his care. Hugo presents the automaton to Georges.

Sometime later, a film festival is held showcasing over eighty recovered and restored Méliès films. Georges tearfully takes the stage, and thanks Hugo for his dedication and to the other attendees for sharing his imagination with him. After the festival, in the Georges' house, Hugo has acclimated as Georges' son, while Isabelle begins writing a book on the recent events. The film ends on a shot of the automaton sitting at a writing desk in a pleasant room, posed as though prepared to resume drawing.

[edit] CastAsa Butterfield as Hugo Cabret

Chloë Grace Moretz as Isabelle

Ben Kingsley as Georges Méliès / Papa Georges

Helen McCrory as Jeanne d'Alcy / Mama Jeanne

Michael Stuhlbarg as René Tabard

Jude Law as Hugo's father

Ray Winstone as Claude Cabret

Christopher Lee as Monsieur Labisse

Sacha Baron Cohen as Inspector Gustave

Emily Mortimer as Lisette

Frances de la Tour as Madame Emile

Richard Griffiths as Monsieur Frick

Marco Aponte as a train engineer assistant

Kevin Eldon as policeman

Gulliver McGrath as young Tabard

Angus Barnett as a cinema manager

Ben Addis as Salvador Dalí

Emil Lager as Django Reinhardt

Robert Gill as James Joyce

Michael Pitt, Martin Scorsese and Brian Selznick have cameo roles.

[edit] Production

GK Films acquired the screen rights to The Invention of Hugo Cabret shortly after the book was published in 2007. Initially, Chris Wedge was signed in to direct the adaptation and John Logan was contracted to write the screenplay.[7] The film was initially titled Hugo Cabret. Several actors were hired, including Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz and Helen McCrory. Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths later joined the project. The venture was officially launched into production in London on June 29, 2010. The first shooting location was at the Shepperton Studios in London along with other places in London and Paris.[8] The Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough, also loaned their original Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits rolling stock to the studio.[9][10] The film's soundtrack includes an Oscar-nominated original score composed by Howard Shore, and also makes prominent use of the Danse macabre by Camille Saint-Saens and the first Gnossienne by Erik Satie.

Hugo was originally budgeted at $100 million but overran with a final budget of between $156 million and $170 million.[11] In February 2012, Graham King summed up his experience of producing Hugo: "Let’s just say that it hasn’t been an easy few months for me — there’s been a lot of Ambien involved".

[edit] Historical references

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2012)

The Jaquet-Droz automaton "the writer", an inspiration for the design of the automaton in the filmThe overall backstory and primary features of Georges Méliès' life as depicted in the film are largely accurate: he became interested in film after seeing a demonstration of the Lumière brothers' camera,[12] he was a magician and toymaker, he experimented with automata, he owned a theatre (Theatre Robert-Houdin), he was forced into bankruptcy, his film stock was reportedly melted down for its cellulose, he became a toy salesman at the Montparnasse station, and he was eventually awarded the Légion d'honneur medal after a period of terrible neglect. Many of the early silent films shown in the movie are Méliès's actual works, such as Le voyage dans la lune (1902). However, the film does not mention Méliès' two children, his brother Gaston (who worked with Méliès during his film making career), or his first wife Eugènie, who was married to Méliès during the time he made films (Eugènie died in 1913). The film shows Méliès as having been married to Jeanne d'Alcy during their film making period, when in reality, they did not marry until 1925.

The design for the automaton was inspired by one made by the Swiss watchmaker Henri Maillardet, which Selznick had seen in the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia,[13] as well as the Jaquet-Droz automaton "the writer".[14]

Several viewings of the film L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat are portrayed, depicting the shocked reaction of the audience - although this view is in doubt.[15]

Emil Lager, Ben Addis, and Robert Gill make cameo appearances as Django Reinhardt, the father of Gypsy jazz guitar, Salvador Dalí, the Spanish surrealist painter, and James Joyce, the Irish writer, respectively. The names of all three characters appear towards the end of the film's cast credit list.[16]

The book that Monsieur Labisse gives Hugo as a gift, Robin Hood le proscrit, was written by Alexandre Dumas in 1864 as a French translation of an 1838 work by Pierce Egan the Younger in England. The book is symbolic, as Hugo must avoid the "righteous" law enforcement (represented by Inspector Gustave) to live in the station and later to restore the automaton both to a functioning status and to its rightful owner.

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