After the presents are unwrapped and the ticker tape of ribbons and tinsel and trappings recycled, treat yourself to the luxury of an afternoon matinee and go see Hugo.
By now you know my admonition: NEVER judge a book by its movie. Read the book first. Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a delight to read together and, believe it or not, a great choice for an older reluctant reader. Despite its hefty size, in reality it's a very quick read due the large number of pages that are illustrated like an old-fashioned film flip-book. In fact, Selznick won the 2008 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations (quite unusual for a chapter book to win a Caldecott medal.)
ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.
Like most book-to-movie adaptations, director extraordinaire Martin Scorsese expands on the original storyline quite a bit but does stays true to the tone and style. Wonderful performances by all the cast, and especially by Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Then get ready to be Wonderstruck!