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Hugo Cabret

"Place Edouard in Paris"

Where Hugo Cabret was Shot

Hugo Cabret, Martin Scorsese’s latest film, is set in Paris, but nearly the entire movie was shot on a studio stage, in the spirit of George Méliès, one might say, on whose life story much of the film is based. (The silent movie pioneer, a master of the “artificial”, the fantastic and surreal, really did operate a toy shop in the Gare de Montparnasse for several years after WWI.)

The puzzle is not so much why Scorsese preferred to recreate 1920s Paris in a studio but why he bothered to shoot on location at all, and then only for scenes that are of secondary importance to the narrative and that do not enrich or embroider the film’s visual impact in any meaningful way.

The two scenes in question were shot on Place Edouard VII – we can clearly see the king’s statue behind the two youthful protagonists – and, just fifty metres away, on Square de l’Opéra Louis Jouvet where Hugo and Isabelle sneak into a cinema.

Scorsese could easily enough have done for these two scenes what he did for all the others: shoot them on a . . . → Read More About Hollywood’s Love Affair with Paris: Hugo Cabret