Hugo (Martin Scorsese) - 2011

This is an incredible achievement by director Scorsese.  The cinematography is breathtaking.  If you see one movie this year, this is the one.  Young Mr. Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in the walls of the train station in post-WWI Paris where he maintains the clockworks without pay.  He is constantly being pursued by the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) because he is an orphan who steals his food and clockworks from the station vendors.  The recreation of the train station and its denizens is easily worth the price of admission by itself.  Mr. Cabret and his other nemesis (Ben Kingsley) form an unlikely alliance born of petty theft and then mutual respect.  Christopher Lee is excellent as the keeper of the station bookstore.  This wonderful story explores the magic of pre-war movie-making with actual footage that was selected with loving care.  This is a family movie that is destined to be a classic for all time. [JAM 11/26/2011]