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- Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by John Logan, based the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.
One of the most legendary directors of our time takes you on an extraordinary adventure.
- [to Isabelle] I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason too.
- Maybe that's why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn't able to do what it was meant to do... Maybe it's the same with people. If you lose your purpose... it's like you're broken.
- Listen to me! Please! Please! Listen to me! You don't understand! You have to let me go! I don't understand, why my father died! Why I'm alone! This is my only chance to work. You should understand!
- I am Hugo!
- If you've ever wondered where your dreams come from...you look around. This is where they're made.
- Magic tricks and illusion became my speciality. The world of imagination. My beautiful wife was my muse, my star, and we couldn't have been happier. We thought it would never end. How could it? But then the war came. And youth and hope were at an end. The world had no time for magic tricks and movie shows. The returning soldiers, having seen so much of reality, were bored by my films. Tastes had changed, but I had not changed with them. No one wanted my movies anymore. Eventually I... I couldn't pay the actors... or keep the business running, and... and so my enchanted castle fell to ruin. Everything was lost. One night, in bitter despair, I... I burned all my old sets and costumes. I was forced to sell my movies to a company that melted them down into chemicals. These chemicals were used to make shoe heels. With the little money I had from selling my films, I bought the toy booth... and there I have remained. The only thing I couldn't bring myself to destroy was my beloved automaton. So I gave him to a museum, hoping he would find a home. But they never put him on display. And then the museum burned. It's all gone now. Everything I ever made. Nothing but ashes and fading strips of celluloid. My life has taught me one lesson, Hugo, and not the one I thought it would. Happy endings only happen in the movies.
- My friends, I address you all tonight as you truly are; wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, magicians... Come and dream with me.
- Why would my key fit into your father's machine?
- This might be an adventure, and I've never had one before - outside of books, at least.
- Once upon a time, I met a boy named Hugo Cabret. He lived in a train station. Why did he live in a train station, you might well ask. That's really what this book is going to be about. And about how this singular young man searched to hard to find a secret message from his Father, and how that message lead his way, all the way home.
- Georges, you've tried to forget the past for so long, but it has caused you nothing but unhappiness. Maybe it's time you tried to remember.
- Isabelle: Who are you?
- Hugo: Your grandfather stole my notebook. I've got to get it back before he burns it.
- Isabelle: Papa Georges isn't my grandfather. And he isn't a thief. You're the thief. You're nothing but a - a reprobate.
- Isabelle: We could get into trouble!
- Hugo: That's how you know it's an adventure.
- Isabelle: Come on.
- Hugo: Where are we going?
- Isabelle: Only to the most wonderful place on earth. It's Neverland and Oz and Treasure Island all wrapped into one.
- Hugo: My father took me to the movies all the time. He told me about the first one he ever saw. He went into a dark room, and on a white screen, he saw a rocket *fly* - into the eye of the man in the moon. - It went straight in.
- Isabelle: Really?
- Hugo: He said it was like seeing his dreams in the middle of the day. The movies were our special place.
- Hugo: [angry and disappointed that the automaton hasn't written anything of sense] What an idiot! Thinking I could fix it!
- Isabelle: Hugo...
- [Hugo loses his composure and desperately begins smashing various items in the room.]
- Hugo: It's broken! It's always been broken! [sits in chair, covers his face and begins to cry]
- Isabelle: Hugo, it doesn't have to be like this. You can fix it.
- Hugo: [crying] You don't... you don't understand. I thought... I thought if I could fix it... then I wouldn't be so alone.
- [Hugo's sobs fill the room. Suddenly, the machine begins to draw again.]
- Isabelle: Hugo, Hugo look! It... it's not done!
- [The two watch as the automaton begins to draw a picture.]
- Hugo: [voice breaking] It's not writing! It... it's drawing!
- [They see it is a scene from the movie "A Trip to the Moon."]
- Hugo: That's the movie my father saw! [the automaton signs Georges Méliès' name]
- Isabelle: [amazed] Georges Méliès. That's Papa Georges name. Why would your father's machine sign Papa Georges' name?
- Hugo: I don't know. [picks up drawing and looks at robot] Thank you. [turns to Isabelle] It was a message from my father. And now I have to figure it out.
- Hugo: I've got to go!
- Station Inspector: You'll go nowhere until your parents are found.
- Hugo: I don't have any!
- Station Inspector: Then it's straight to the orphanage with you! You'll learn a thing or two there. I certainly did. How to follow orders, how to keep to yourself. How to survive without a family, because you don't need one! You don't need a family!
- [after Hugo and Isabelle find a wooden box in a hidden cabinet in Méliès house, the box gets accidently broken exploding a mass of paper with sketches including a similar one of the moon]
- Papa Georges/Georges Méliès: Back from the dead.
- [Méliès picks up the some of the drawings and starts to rip them in anger]
- Mama Jeanne/Jeanne d'Alcy: Stop it, Georges! Stop it! This is your work!
- Papa Georges/Georges Méliès: MY WORK?! What am I? Nothing but a penniless merchant, a broken windup toy! [looking at Hugo] I trusted you. This is how you thank me. You're cruel. Cruel.
- [he starts to cry and Isabelle takes Hugo out of the room]
- Isabelle: I should get back.
- Hugo: Okay.
- [as she says goodbye to Hugo and turns to leave to return to the station]
- Isabelle: Thank you... for the movie today. It... It was a gift.
Quotes about Hugo
- With Hugo, Martin Scorsese has accomplished what few in Hollywood are willing to try: make a movie for adults that arrives without sex, violence, or profanity and earns a PG-rating. It's a fairy tale for mature viewers, but the airy exterior hides emotional depth.
- Hugo is unlike any other film Martin Scorsese has ever made, and yet possibly the closest to his heart: a big-budget, family epic in 3-D, and in some ways, a mirror of his own life. We feel a great artist has been given command of the tools and resources he needs to make a movie about — movies. That he also makes it a fable that will be fascinating for (some, not all) children is a measure of what feeling went into it.
- Scorsese has made documentaries about great films and directors, and here he brings those skills to storytelling. We see Melies (who built the first movie studio) using fantastical sets and bizarre costumes to make films with magical effects — all of them hand-tinted, frame by frame. And as the plot makes unlikely connections, the old man is able to discover that he is not forgotten, but indeed is honored as worthy of the Pantheon.
- Roger Ebert, in review in Chigaco Sun-Times (21 November 2011)
- In Hugo, Martin Scorsese is hell-bent on bedazzling us, and Scorsese rarely doesn’t get what Scorsese wants — by any means necessary. The means in this case are to swoon over. Together with a bunch of A-plus-list artists and techies, he has crafted a deluxe, gargantuan train set of a movie in which he and his 3-D camera can whisk and whizz and zig and zag, a place where he can show off all his expensive toys and wax lyrical within the film itself on the magic of movies. Marty the film buff has built his own matrix. … this is one of those wonders of the world you need to see.
- While Hugo is clearly a family friendly film that Scorsese’s daughter could enjoy, it really is a film for all ages. … make sure you don’t miss the chance to see Hugo on a big screen. Believe it or not, the director of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Departed has made family adventure for the ages.
- I think we have a responsibility, given the omnipresence of media in the lives of modern children, to not only encourage them with choices about what to watch, but also to teach them how to watch. Without context, how do you expect them to navigate the ocean of choice available to them at all times these days?
Martin Scorsese has spoken at length in the press about wanting to make a movie that his 12-year-old daughter could see, and how much he loved 3D in the '50s, and how this movie serves as, in some ways, autobiography because of his own childhood spent trapped by asthma in a private world, cut off from other kids. All of that is true, but the moment you start putting labels like "kid's film" on a movie like "Hugo," you are being reductive in your thinking, and that's missing the point entirely. … Early on, it's obvious that the film is less about the mechanical man and more about the way broken people sometimes need other people to fix them, how we can all play some part in the lives of others, sometimes without meaning to. … Hugo observes the daily life of the train station, the various people playing out all the various stories around him, never participating, trying to make sense of this world he watches. … People who think of Scorsese only in terms of crime films sell him short, and they are the ones who will miss out on this thrilling, beautiful movie that believes we each have a place and a purpose, and true peace only comes from finding it.
- Belief in magic is a huge part of Hugo‘s theme. The precocious young boy knows its impossible, but somehow feels that if he can fix the automaton, it will send him a message from his father. Hugo makes a potent argument for films being the realization of dreams, and it doesn’t shortchange its characters either. There are real moments of danger, clear consequences, and sympathetic characters all around, so when tears come at the end of the movie, they feel earned.
Scorsese’s love letter to the power of cinema is itself pretty powerful stuff.
- Hugo is one of the most wondrous cinematic adventures of the 21st century. Making it even more magical this is a love letter to the films of a century ago.
- The idea of a little boy living in the walls, sliding in and out of the innards of these clocks. It’s like people living in the ceiling of Grand Central Station, looking out through the painting of stars.
- Well, “Hugo” is not really a fantasy film. It’s not a “Chronicles of Narnia” or a “Harry Potter” or “Lord of the Rings” type of fantasy. I would define that kind of fantasy as having viscerality. You’re intended to perceive events or people as very, very real. A dragon appears outside a window, and you can imagine it coming into the room, with blue flames and beautiful green emeralds for eyes.
- With Hugo, the fantasy is very real, but it’s in your head and in your heart. It has to do with the mechanisms — whether it’s the clocks, the interiors, the locomotives, the trains, the automaton — with the inner workings of these objects.
- Martin Scorcese 
- Asa Butterfield - Hugo Cabret
- Ben Kingsley - Georges Méliès
- Chloë Grace Moretz - Isabelle
- Sacha Baron Cohen - Inspector Gustave
- Ray Winstone - Claude Cabret
- Jude Law - Hugo's father
- Christopher Lee - Monsieur Labisse
- Helen McCrory - Mama Jeanne
- Michael Stuhlbarg - René Tabard
- Emily Mortimer - Lisette
- Frances de la Tour - Madame Emile
- Richard Griffiths - Monsieur Frick