The Illusionist [Blu-ray]
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Unlock the mysteries of the year's most spellbinding film from the producers of Crash and Sideways Oscar® nominees Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton lead an all-star cast in this "stunning" film (USA Today) that conjures an exhilarating blend of suspense, romance and mind-bending twists. The acclaimed illusionist Eisenheim (Norton) has not only captured the imaginations of all of Vienna, but also the interest of the ambitious Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). But when Leopold's new fiancée (Jessica Biel) rekindles a childhood fascination with Eisenheim, the Prince's interest evolves into obsession...and suddenly the city's Chief Inspector (Giamatti) finds himself investigating a shocking crime. But even as the Inspector engages him in a dramatic challenge of wills, Eisenheim prepares for his most impressive illusion yet in this "mesmerizing" (Entertainment Weekly) and "beautifully acted" (Good Morning America) film that "teases you until the very end!" (The New York Times).
Top customer reviews
I probably should have taken off another star for this failing. If the extras were more substantial or if the commentary mattered to me, I would have. Maybe even two.
There are a number of wonderful moments, but there are also a few flaws. The ending seems just too neat for a film that raises such complex questions about the nature of truth and illusion, magic vs. science. The accents are a little all over the place, which can be distracting, and both Giamatti and Sewell – terrific actors – have some moments of theatricality that made me very aware of them ‘acting’.
None-the-less, a clever well laid out film, that gains it’s tension in a quiet, but powerful way.
The plot was a fairly basic "poor boy meets rich girl" with the usual forbidden relationship maneuvers. This storyline has been used before but the delivery of it and the magic background really made it fresh and original. I was totally submersed into the film within about 15-20 minutes which is always a good sign. I enjoyed the magic and the strange events surrounding the magic. Was it real? An Illusion? Mixed? Was anyone else involved in making it all work or did the illusionist work alone? These were all interesting points to ponder as the film rolled along.
Character-wise the movie did a gerat job of building relationships between key people and allowing the viewers to actually care for most of them. Even the supposed "bad guy"( Rufus Sewell) deserved our condolences as you will see. Ed Norton did his usual great job with his role and Paul Giamatti was excellent as the Police Inspector that was torn between whats right and wrong and whats best for his career. Jessica Biehl was a little bit out of her league here though and she was forcing her lines a little bit. This part was obviously a little bit of s stretch for her but she did try at least. Her accent was sort of bad and again...she just wasnt that believable. Shes great looking though which doesnt hurt.
I highly recommend this film. The scenery and atmosphere are terrific, the acting is mostly great, and there are enough interesting twists and turns to keep it fresh and interesting. It wasnt perfect by any means but few movies are. The key here is that they got this mostly right and its good enough to be watched more than once.
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