Hugo is a 2011 British-American-French 3D historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick’s graphic novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it is about a boy who lives alone in the Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris in the 1930s. A co-production between Graham King’s GK Films and Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil, the film stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Helen McCrory, 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.” The film was released in the United States on November 23, 2011.
Hugo grossed $185 million at the box office against a budget of $150–$170 million. Hugo received eleven Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture), more than any other film that year, and won five awards: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for eight BAFTAs, winning two, and was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, earning Scorsese his third Golden Globe for Best Director.
In 1931, 12-year-old Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in Paris with his father (Jude Law), a widowed, but kind clockmaker who also works at a museum. One day his father finds a broken automaton, a mechanical man designed to write with a pen, at the museum, and he and Hugo try to repair it, his father documenting the automaton in a notebook. When his father is killed by a fire at the museum, Hugo is forced to live with his resentful, alcoholic uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), and made to learn how to maintain the clocks at the railway station of Gare Montparnasse. When Claude goes missing for several days, Hugo continues to maintain the clocks, fearing that he would be sent away as an orphan by the vindictive Station Inspector Gustave (Sacha Baron Cohen) if Claude’s absence is discovered. Hugo attempts to repair the automaton with stolen parts, believing it contains a message from his father, but the machine still requires a heart-shaped key that his father could not find.