Directed By: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Sir Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, and Jude Law

We don't often think of filmmakers as fans, but that's all they really are.  They're the cinephiles who took the torch from a previous generation.   Whether actor or director, cast or crew, all filmmakers started somewhere as movie aficionados.  Even the great Martin Scorsese has a love of film that predates his career as a director.  In his latest work Hugo, Marty takes the time to show moviegoers just how big a fan he is of movies.

Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is an orphaned boy secretly living in a Paris train station in the 1930s.  With the bad habit of thievery, he's made quite a few enemies in the station including toy shop owner Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) and the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen).  When Hugo tries to steal from the toy shop, Méliès catches him and takes a notebook that's meaningful to the boy.  The notebook includes information on how to maintain an automaton (or 'robot' for clueless, younger folks like myself).  It just so happens that Hugo and his father were working to repair an automaton before his dad's accident, and finishing his dad's work means the world to him.  Without that notebook, he can't do it though.  To get it back and repair the robot, Hugo befriends Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), Méliès' orphaned goddaughter, and together, they uncover more than they expected about her godfather's past.

Given that Scorsese is an elder in the film community now, it's no surprise that he decided to pay homage to filmmaking when it was a newborn art form in the early twentieth century.  He uses Hugo's adventures as a way to take viewers on a different sort of adventure- a history of cinema.    He highlights the small beginnings of film in stores and carnivals and gives a glimpse of the present industry with movie theaters.  While Hugo faces the challenges of being an orphan without a home in this predictable children's story, Scorsese is busy giving the film another layer of depth by depicting the true origins of what I like to call movie magic.  It's definitely a fun ride that only the most passionate moviegoers will enjoy.  Hugo will show movie lovers why they fell in love with film in the first place.

Hugo is far from a kids movie.  About a half hour into the film, a boy near me started asking his mother whether the film was over.  He did this about every fifteen minutes for the next 90 minutes.  He was torturing me as much as the movie was torturing him.  In fact, the adults were the ones who lauded the film in my theater.  We could actually appreciate Scorsese showing his love of film.  For his bold and innovative effort to give moviegoers today a history lesson on the big screen in a dazzling, heartwarming story, Martin Scorsese's Hugo gets a 0.03% rating. Have some wine coolers with this one.