By Kayla Oxford, Assistant A&E Editor
What do an orphaned boy, a broken automaton and a man who wants to forget the past have in common?
All of these can be found in Martin Scorsese’s new movie “Hugo,” released Nov. 25.
This movie was originally meant to be geared toward the younger generation, but it has a plot that can capture an audience of all ages.
Set in 1930s Paris, an orphaned boy lives within the walls of a train station. He survives by stealing food from shops set up in the station, and also takes little gears and other mechanical parts for something that can only be figured out by watching the movie.
Hugo, the orphaned boy (Asa Butterfield), must solve a mystery with the help of his newfound friend, Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), which involves her godparents (Ben Kingsley and Helen McCrory) and Hugo’s deceased father (Jude Law).
The mystery revolves around an automaton — a robot made to imitate functions a human would do — that Hugo has in his possession. The automaton seems to be a close relic to Hugo since his father and he worked on it together.
This movie is suitable for families to watch.
“Hugo” shows the train station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) in long-johns while bathing, but still has deep, thought-provoking moments for the older moviegoers, such as a moment when Hugo and Isabelle share a conversation about their purpose in life.
Directed by Scorsese, “Hugo” is a rather different film for this director compared to his previous movies, which include “Mean Streets” (1973), “Taxi Driver” (1976), “After Hours” (1985), “The Age of Innocence” (1993) and “The Departed” — for which he won an Academy Award in 2006.
Many of his previous movies were set in New York and included a lot of violence, loner characters fighting with inner demons and rock-meets-opera soundtracks. This is much different than the background of “Hugo.”
However, certain things that Scorsese uses in some of his other films can be found in his latest movie. For example, there are a few parts where slow motion is used and it seems like Hugo wants to be accepted by society, just like other leading roles in Scorsese’s movies.
In some ways, “Hugo” dives into the history of filmmaking, which makes sense in a film directed by Scorsese. He is the founder and chair of The Film Foundation.
According to the “Hugo” movie website, it is a non-profit organization which is “dedicated to the preservation and protection of motion picture history.”
While this film is mostly family-friendly, a few adult hints may be a bit too noticeable for younger people. This may not make some parents happy. I give “Hugo” a B+.