You've heard people on the street talking about it in hushed whispers: "Hugo." But just what is "Hugo," anyway? A biopic of Hugo Chavez? A movie about French writer Victor Hugo? That weird guy at the end of your block who smells like Aqua Velva?
Well, wonder no more, because we have everything you need to know about one of the buzziest films of the fall -- and your education begins right now.Release Date: November 23
Star Power: Young Asa Butterfield teams up with "Kick-Ass" breakout star Chloe Moretz to provide the kid power, while the timeless Christopher Lee headlines the adult side of things along with Jude Law, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Next Factor: Until now, Butterfield has been hiding his light under the kiddie-film bushel (see: "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," "Nanny McPhee Returns"), but "Hugo" could be the break he needs to take his talents to the big leagues.
Behind the Camera: Legendary director Martin Scorsese is best known for presenting extreme violence artistically in films like "Goodfellas," "Taxi Driver" and "The Departed." This time around, though, he's trying his hand at his first family-friendly feature. It should be interesting to see if he can successfully tone down the grittiness.
Movie Math: "Saw" ÷ "The Chronicles of Narnia" + R2D2 = "Hugo"
In a Nutshell: When his father dies, Hugo Cabret (Butterfield) is left with only one thing: a weird mechanical automaton that seems to hold a secret message from his departed dad. Unfortunately, the thing is busted, so Hugo begins trying to repair it to learn its secrets. Along the way, he befriends a young girl (Moretz) and a crazy old genius (Kingsley as real-life silent film pioneer George Melies) who help him piece together both the automaton and his own broken life.
The Buzz: Considering Scorsese's huge, Oscar-winning body of work, you wouldn't think there would be much left he hadn't done. But not only is this his first family film, it's also his first crack at 3-D. The idea of a bona fide master trying his hand at 3-D has film fans giddy, hoping Scorsese can show once and for all that the technology is not only more than just a fad, but also a viable avenue for artistic expression.
Why We're Psyched: We loved Moretz in both "Kick-Ass" and "Let Me In," so we're especially excited to see what she does with Scorsese behind the camera. After all, he has a reputation for bringing out great performances from his actors; Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio are just two of the greats who have turned in their best work under his guidance. And the last time he teamed up with a precocious young actress -- 13-year-old Jodie Foster in "Taxi Driver" -- she ended up earning an Oscar nomination. So can he do the same thing for Moretz that he did for Foster? We can't wait to find out.