Martin Scorsese's Hugo won most of the leading technical categories at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. It won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. While there were no Oscars for Scorsese or his editor Thelma Schoonmaker, another long-time friend who had done many Scorsese films received another statue. Dante Ferretti (Production Design) and Francesca Lo Schiavo (Set Decoration) won Oscars for Best Achievement in Art Direction for Hugo.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave the lion's share of Oscar nominations to "Hugo," Martin Scorsese's heartfelt love letter to filmmaking and introduction to 3D, with 11, including best picture, best director, best screenplay, art direction, cinematography, costume, and several technical Oscars.
Scorsese won the 69th annual Golden Globe award for Best Director with 'Hugo', which was his third win.
Hugo is based on the best-selling children's book by Brian Selznick. It tells the story of a 12-year-old orphan boy who lives in the walls of a Paris train station in the 1930s and is trying to solve the mystery of a broken robot to fulfill his late father's dying wish.
This 2011 Martin Scorsese picture marks the director's foray into 3D filmmaking: "We see in depth, for the most part. We go to the theater - it’s in depth.”
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Emily Mortimer, Michael Stuhlbarg
About the DVD
Release on February 28, 2012, just two days after it won 5 technical Oscars, Hugo became one of the top selling movies on DVD of 2012. As one of the best films of 2011, Scorsese's masterpiece is a tale of childhood wonder but also relays his lifelong love of film in every frame. Also available in blue ray format - this is a Scorsese film you will watch again and again.
About the Book
Synopsis from www.theinventionofhugocabret.com: ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message all come together...in The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is told in both words and pictures. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things. Each picture (there are nearly three hundred pages of pictures!) takes up an entire double page spread, and the story moves forward because you turn the pages to see the next moment unfold in front of you.
From Publishers Weekly:
Here is a true masterpiece—an artful blending of narrative, illustration and cinematic technique, for a story as tantalizing as it is touching. Twelve-year-old orphan Hugo lives in the walls of a Paris train station at the turn of the 20th century, where he tends to the clocks and filches what he needs to survive. Hugo's recently deceased father, a clockmaker, worked in a museum where he discovered an automaton: a human-like figure seated at a desk, pen in hand, as if ready to deliver a message. After his father showed Hugo the robot, the boy became just as obsessed with getting the automaton to function as his father had been, and the man gave his son one of the notebooks he used to record the automaton's inner workings. The plot grows as intricate as the robot's gears and mechanisms [...] To Selznick's credit, the coincidences all feel carefully orchestrated; epiphany after epiphany occurs before the book comes to its sumptuous, glorious end. Selznick hints at the toymaker's hidden identity [...] through impressive use of meticulous charcoal drawings that grow or shrink against black backdrops, in pages-long sequences. They display the same item in increasingly tight focus or pan across scenes the way a camera might. The plot ultimately has much to do with the history of the movies, and Selznick's genius lies in his expert use of such a visual style to spotlight the role of this highly visual media. A standout achievement. Ages 9-12.
More on Automatons
Where did it all start? When Brian Selznick began to write his book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," he learned that French filmmaker Georges Méliès had at one time had a collection of automatons. Since he knew little about the subject that would play a role in the lives of the characters in his book, Selznick's research lead him to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia which had possession of the infamous Maillardet automaton.
Henri Maillardet, the 18th century Swiss mechanician and clockmaker, is believed to be the creator of the automaton that plays a key role in the book and the movie "Hugo." Built 200 years ago, his automaton has the largest "memory" of any such machine ever constructed—four drawings and three poems (two in French and one in English).
Automatons have been around for hundreds of years, going back to the first analog computer known as the Antikythera mechanism, which is believed to have been built in ancient Greece around the first century BC. The great artist and inventor Leonardo DiVinci conceived of a number of automatons in his lifetime. DiVinci is known to have created two mechanical lions, one for King Louis XII of France in 1509, and the second for King Francois I in 1515.
"The automaton is a concept that has existed in both myth and reality since as far back as ancient Greece. The word means “acting on one's own will,” and is a term used to describe machines that operate by themselves and without the help of humans. The term “animated puppet” is often used to describe an automaton, and it is also considered to be synonymous with robots, a concept which came into existence in the 20th century. Automatons are popularly identified with machines that look like humans or animals, but they can also come in the form of clocks and other strictly utilitarian devices. The plural forms of automaton are both automatons and automata."
The video below was recorded on November 4, 2007, when Brian Selznick visited The Franklin Institute for a signing of his book, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret." The Franklin Institute's Maillardet Automaton was a principal inspiration for Selznick's book. In the clip, Andy Baron, who restored the machine with Charles Penniman in April, 2007, operates the machine.
Chloe Moretz .... Isabella
Jude Law .... Hugo's father
Richard Griffiths .... Monsieur Frick
Ben Kingsley .... Papa Georges
Sacha Baron Cohen .... Station Inspector
Christopher Lee .... Monsieur Labisse
Emily Mortimer .... Lisette
Asa Butterfield .... Hugo
Michael Stuhlbarg .... Rene Tabard
Helen McCrory .... Mama Jeanne
Frances de la Tour .... Emilie
Angus Barnett .... Theater Manager
Edmund Kingsley .... Technician
Catherine Balavage .... Parisian Cafe Woman