I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret when it was first published - and loved it. Usually I don't give the film version a chance when that happens. (For example, I did not watch Angela's Ashes, nor did I watch Water for Elephants. For some reason, I gave Hugo a chance.)
Wow. I'm glad I did. This film is not only very faithful to the book - but sets the book in motion - which is, of course, entirely appropriate.
The choice of actors is perfect. The sets are fantastical and quite entirely beautiful. The photography is stunning. Martin Scorcese has outdone himself here.
This film picks up quite a pace and keeps you on the edge of your seat from then on. But it has a very worthwhile message, too.
Just to give you a sense of my context, I have a few film favourites that have been made (primarily) for children:
Into the West, with: Gabriel Byrne, Ellen Barkin, Ciarán Fitzgerald, Rúaidhrí Conroy, David Kelly
The Secret of Roan Inish, with: Jeni Courtney, Mick Lally, Eileen Colgan, Richard Sheridan, John Lynch, Susan Lynch, Cillian Byrne
The Three Lives of Thomasina, with: Patrick McGoohan, Susan Hampshire, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, and the voice of Elspeth March as Thomasina the cat.
Hugo is now on my list.