Hugo (film)

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Hugo
<!see WP:ALT -->
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMartin Scorsese
Produced byGraham King
Timothy Headington
Martin Scorsese
Johnny Depp
Screenplay byJohn Logan
Based onThe Invention of Hugo Cabret 
by Brian Selznick
StarringBen Kingsley
Sacha Baron Cohen
Asa Butterfield
Chloë Grace Moretz
Emily Mortimer
Music byHoward Shore
CinematographyRobert Richardson
Edited byThelma Schoonmaker
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Pictures (USA)
Release dates
  • October 10, 2011 (2011-10-10) (NYFF)
  • November 23, 2011 (2011-11-23) (USA)
Running time126 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$150 to $170 million[1]
Box office$185,770,160[2]
 
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Hugo
<!see WP:ALT -->
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMartin Scorsese
Produced byGraham King
Timothy Headington
Martin Scorsese
Johnny Depp
Screenplay byJohn Logan
Based onThe Invention of Hugo Cabret 
by Brian Selznick
StarringBen Kingsley
Sacha Baron Cohen
Asa Butterfield
Chloë Grace Moretz
Emily Mortimer
Music byHoward Shore
CinematographyRobert Richardson
Edited byThelma Schoonmaker
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Pictures (USA)
Release dates
  • October 10, 2011 (2011-10-10) (NYFF)
  • November 23, 2011 (2011-11-23) (USA)
Running time126 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$150 to $170 million[1]
Box office$185,770,160[2]

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 in the 1930s. It is directed and co-produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. It is a co-production between 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."[3] The film was released in the United States on November 23, 2011.[4]

The film was received with critical acclaim, with many critics praising the visuals, acting, and direction. However, it was financially unsuccessful, only grossing $185 million at the box office, barely passing its budget. 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 eleven total nominations (including Best Picture) was the most for the evening.[5] Hugo was also nominated for eight BAFTAs and won two, and was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, earning Scorsese his third Golden Globe Award for Best Director.

Plot[edit]

In 1931, Hugo Cabret, a 12-year-old boy, lives with his father, a widowed, but kind and devoted master clock maker in Paris. Hugo's father takes him to see films and loves the films of Georges Méliès best of all. Hugo's father is burned alive in a museum fire, and Hugo is taken away by his uncle, an alcoholic watchmaker who is responsible for maintaining the clocks in the railway station of Gare Montparnasse. His uncle teaches him to take care of the clocks, then disappears. Hugo lives between the walls of the station, maintaining the clocks, stealing food and working on his father's most ambitious project: repairing a broken automaton – a mechanical man who is supposed to write with a pen. Hugo steals mechanical parts in the station to repair the automaton, but he is caught by a toy store owner who takes away Hugo's blueprints for the automaton. The automaton is missing one part – a heart–shaped key. Convinced that the automaton contains a message from his father, Hugo goes to desperate lengths to fix the machine. He gains the assistance of Isabelle, a girl close to his age and the goddaughter of the toy shop owner. He introduces Isabelle to the movies, which her godfather has never let her seen. Isabelle turns out to have the key to the automaton. When they use the key to activate the automaton, it produces a drawing of a film scene Hugo remembers his father telling him about. They discover that the film was created by Georges Méliès, Isabelle's godfather, an early – but now neglected and disillusioned – cinema legend, and that the automaton was a beloved creation of his, from his days as a magician. In the end, the children reconnect Georges with his past and with a new generation of cinema aficionados who have come to appreciate his work.

Main cast[edit]

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

Production[edit]

Pre-production[edit]

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.[6] 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. Hugo was originally budgeted at $100 million but overran with a final budget of between $156 million and $170 million.[7] 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".

Filming[edit]

The venture was officially launched into production in London on June 29, 2010. The first shooting location was at the Shepperton Studios in London.[8] The Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough, also loaned their original Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits rolling stock to the studio.[9][10]

In August 2010, production moved to Paris for two weeks. Locations included the Sainte-Geneviève Library and the Sorbonne (where a lecture hall was converted into a 1930s cinema hall) in the 5th arrondissement and the Théâtre de l'Athénée and its surrounding area in the 9th. High school Lycée Louis-le-Grand served as the film's base of operations in Paris and its cafeteria served 700 meals a day for the cast & crew.[11]

Music[edit]

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-Saëns and the first Gnossienne by Erik Satie.

Historical references[edit]

The Jaquet-Droz automaton "the writer", an inspiration for the design of the automaton in the film

The 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 Eugénie, who was married to Méliès during the time he made films (Eugénie 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 the father of Gypsy jazz guitar, Django Reinhardt, the Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dalí, and the Irish writer, James Joyce, 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.

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Hugo earned $73,864,507 domestically and $111,905,653 internationally for a worldwide gross of $185,770,160.[2]

Hugo was cited as one of the year's notable box office flops despite garnering praise from critics. The film gained $15.4 million over the Thanksgiving weekend and almost $74 million domestically, barely half of its $170 million budget, even though it made strength overseas. Hugo's perceived failure was due to competition with Disney's The Muppets and Summit's Breaking Dawn Part 1.[17] The film is set to cost its studio $100 million because of its box office performance.[18]

Producer Graham King expressed that the film's box office results have been painful. "There's no finger pointing — I'm the producer and I take the responsibility," he said glumly. "Budget wise, there just wasn't enough prep time and no one really realized how complicated doing a 3-D film was going to be. I went through three line producers because no one knew exactly what was going on. Do I still think it's a masterpiece that will be talked about in 20 years? Yes. But once the schedule started getting out of whack, things just spiraled and spiraled and that's when the avalanche began."[19]

Critical reception[edit]

Hugo received universal critical acclaim. The film holds a 94% "Fresh" rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes based on 224 reviews, with an average score of 8.4. The site's main consensus reads "Hugo is an extravagant, elegant fantasy with an innocence lacking in many modern kids' movies, and one that emanates an unabashed love for the magic of cinema." Similarly, Metacritic gave[when?] the film an average score of 83 based on 41 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[20]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four out of four stars saying "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."[21] Peter Rainer of The Christian Science Monitor gave it a "B+" grade and termed it as an "an odd mixture: a deeply personal impersonal movie" and concluded that "Hugo is a mixed bag but one well worth rummaging through."[22] Christy Lemire said that it had an "abundant love of the power of film; being a hardcore cinephile (like Scorsese) might add a layer of enjoyment, but it certainly isn't a prerequisite for walking in the door" besides being "slightly repetitive and overlong".[23] Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune rated it three stars and described it as "rich and stimulating even when it wanders" explaining "every locale in Scorsese's vision of 1931 Paris looks and feels like another planet. The filmmaker embraces storybook artifice as wholeheartedly as he relays the tale's lessons in the importance of film preservation."[24] Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal gave a negative review, saying "visually Hugo is a marvel, but dramatically it's a clockwork lemon.[25]

Hugo was selected for the Royal Film Performance 2011 with a screening at the Odeon, Leicester Square in London on 28 November 2011 in the presence of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in support of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund.[26]

Richard Corliss of Time named it one of the Top 10 Best Movies of 2011, saying "Scorsese's love poem, rendered gorgeously in 3-D, restores both the reputation of an early pioneer and the glory of movie history – the birth of a popular art form given new life through a master's application of the coolest new techniques".[27]

James Cameron called Hugo "a masterpiece" and that the film had the best use of 3D he had seen, surpassing even his own acclaimed films.[28]

Top ten lists[edit]

The film has appeared on the following critics' top ten lists for the best films of 2011:

CriticPublicationRank
David DenbyThe New Yorker1st
Sean HobbitFreelance1st
Harry KnowlesAint It Cool News1st[29]
Shawn LevyThe Oregonian (Portland)1st[30]
Noel MurrayA.V. Club2nd
Glenn KennyMSN Movies2nd
Luke WulfensmithFreelance2nd
Peter HartlaubSan Francisco Chronicle2nd
Richard CorlissTime2nd
Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times4th
Lisa SchwarzbaumEntertainment Weekly4th
Richard BrodyThe New Yorker4th
Peter ParasE! Online5th
N/AMTV5th
Todd McCarthyThe Hollywood Reporter6th
Peter TraversRolling Stone6th
N/ATV Guide7th
J. HobermanThe Village Voice8th
Mark KermodeBBC Radio 5 Live9th
Kim MorganMSN Movies9th
Keith PhippsA.V. Club9th
Sean AxmakerMSN Movies10th
Glenn Heath Jr.Slant Magazine10th
Jeff SimonThe Buffalo NewsN/A
Manohla DargisThe New York TimesN/A
Phillip FrenchThe ObserverN/A

Accolades[edit]

List of awards and nominations
AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryRecipients and nomineesResult
Academy Awards[31][32]26 February 2012Best PictureGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best Adapted ScreenplayJohn LoganNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonWon
Best Original ScoreHoward ShoreNominated
Best Art DirectionDante Ferretti, Francesca Lo SchiavoWon
Best Costume DesignSandy PowellNominated
Best Visual EffectsRobert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex HenningWon
Best Film EditingThelma SchoonmakerNominated
Best Sound EditingPhilip Stockton and Eugene GeartyWon
Best Sound MixingTom Fleischman and John MidgleyWon
Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences Awards[33]December 5, 2012Best Foreign FilmGraham King, Timothy Headington, Martin Scorsese, and Johnny DeppWon
Alliance of Women Film Journalists[34][35]10 January 2012Best PictureGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best Adapted ScreenplayJohn LoganNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
Best EditingThelma SchoonmakerWon
American Society of Cinematographers[36]12 February 2012Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in a Feature FilmRobert RichardsonNominated
Art Directors Guild[37]4 February 2012Period FilmDante FerrettiWon
Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards[38]27 January 2012Best Film – InternationalGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best Direction – InternationalMartin ScorseseNominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Award11 December 2011Best DirectorMartin ScorseseWon
Best FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
2nd place
Best EditingThelma SchoonmakerNominated
2nd place
BAFTA[39][40]12 February 2012Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
Best Original ScoreHoward ShoreNominated
Best SoundPhilip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman and John MidgleyWon
Best EditingThelma SchoonmakerNominated
Best Production DesignDante Ferretti and Francesca Lo SchiavoWon
Best Costume DesignSandy PowellNominated
Best Makeup and HairMorag Ross and Jan ArchibaldNominated
Broadcast Film Critics AssociationBest PictureGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best Young Actor/ActressAsa ButterfieldNominated
Best Adapted ScreenplayJohn LoganNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
Best EditingThelma SchoonmakerNominated
Best Production Design/Art DirectionDante Ferretti, Francesca Lo SchiavoWon
Best ScoreHoward ShoreNominated
Best Costume DesignSandy PowellNominated
Best Visual EffectsRobert LegatoNominated
Best SoundPhilip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman and John MidgleyNominated
Chicago Film Critics Association[41][42]7 January 2012Best FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
Best ScoreHoward ShoreNominated
David di Donatello Awards[43]4 May 2012Best Foreign FilmNominated
Detroit Film Critics Society[44]16 December 2011Best FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards[45]19 December 2011Best DirectorMartin ScorseseWon
Best FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best Production Design/Art DirectionDante Ferretti and Francesca Lo SchiavoWon
Golden Globe Awards[46][47]15 January 2012Best DirectorMartin ScorseseWon
Best Motion Picture – DramaGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best Original ScoreHoward ShoreNominated
Golden Trailer Awards[48]31 May 2012Best Animation/Family"Imagine"Nominated
Best Animation/Family TV SpotNominated
Grammy Awards[49]10 February 2013Best Score Soundtrack For Visual MediaHoward ShoreNominated
Hugo Awards (Science Fiction Achievement Awards)2 September 2012Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)Martin Scorsese and John LoganNominated
Indiana Film Critics AssociationBest FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best Musical ScoreHoward ShoreNominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society13 December 2011Best FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best Family FilmWon
Best Film EditingThelma SchoonmakerWon
Best Youth in FilmAsa ButterfieldWon
National Board of Review[50]Best FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseWon
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseWon
New York Film Critics Circle Award29 November 2011Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
2nd place
Best FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
3rd place
Online Film Critics Society Awards2 January 2012Best PictureGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society27 December 2011Best PictureGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best Adapted ScreenplayJohn LoganNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
Best Production DesignDante FerrettiWon
Best Costume DesignSandy PowellNominated
Best Visual EffectsRobert LegatoWon
Best Live Action Family FilmNominated
Satellite Awards19 December 2011Best PictureGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best Art Direction and Production DesignDante Ferretti and Francesca Lo SchiavoNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
Best Visual EffectsRobert LegatoWon
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards14 December 2011Best Production DesignDante FerrettiWon
Best FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best Adapted ScreenplayJohn LoganNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
Best EditingThelma SchoonmakerNominated
Best ScoreHoward ShoreNominated
Saturn Awards[51]20 June 2012Best Fantasy FilmNominated
Best ActorBen KingsleyNominated
Best Performance by a Younger ActorAsa ButterfieldNominated
Chloë Grace MoretzNominated
Best DirectorMartin ScorseseNominated
Best WritingJohn LoganNominated
Best MusicHoward ShoreNominated
Best CostumeSandy PowellNominated
Best Production DesignDante FerrettiWon
Best EditingThelma SchoonmakerNominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards[52]5 December 2011Best DirectorMartin ScorseseWon
Best Art DirectionDante DerrettiWon
Best FilmGraham King and Martin ScorseseNominated
Best Acting EnsembleNominated
Best Adapted ScreenplayJohn LoganNominated
Best CinematographyRobert RichardsonNominated
Best ScoreHoward ShoreNominated
World Soundtrack Academy20 October 2012Best Soundtrack AwardHoward ShoreNominated
Composer of the YearNominated
Young Artist Award[53]6 May 2012Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young ActorAsa ButterfieldNominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young ActressChloë Grace MoretzWon

References[edit]

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External links[edit]