Hugo is Martin Scorsese's love letter to cinema. It's a gorgeous film set in 1930s Paris and centers on a young orphan boy who lives secretly inside a train station.
Before dying his father taught him how to mend clocks and he spends his time tinkering with intricate mechanisms and mechanics. He meets a girl and together they try to unlock a mystery to a secret past. What they discover is a world of pure magic... a lost history of cinema. This is a film made with love. In between making films Scorsese invests his time finding and restoring lost classics and so Hugo is obviously very personal to him. The legendary filmmaker of old featured in the film is Georges Méliès, portrayed wonderfully by Ben Kingsley. Having studied film myself I knew all about his career and have seen many of his silent flicks at various cinema screenings... the retelling of his career is handled affectionately and faithfully. Obviously a necessary level of liberty and fantasy is put into his story but it is nonetheless an educational and fascinating lesson in film history. All of the players are wonderful and the film's aesthetic is classic. Filmed in 3D it avoids the gimmickry and uses the medium as a strength. There are no cheap FX and the story comes first. Hugo plays like a cross between Cinema Paradiso and Amalie. A flawless movie going experience.