Mysteries, they are so…mysterious! I always love a good mystery, often in combination with supernatural elements. If you didn’t know, I am a big fan of TV-shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel” and “Supernatural”. All those contain mystery in one way or another and also have supernatural elements (Especially “Supernatural”). But what happens if you take a supernatural-based mystery but trade a lot of the horror/thriller elements for romance? You get this one movie that was kind of an odd choice for me.
Ladies and gentlemen…silence please…today TheMarckoguy presents; “The Illusionist”!
In the turn of the century (19th – 20th) we follow a young illusionist (roll credits) called Eisenheim (Edward Norton). At a young age (Flashbacks featuring a younger version played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) he was shown some great magic tricks and got very interested by it. So he started practicing and got really, really good. He met a young girl named Sophie (Eleanor Tomlinson) whom he falls in love with and she falls for him. But their love is not accepted considering she comes from a higher social standing (Her guards/family calling him a “peasant”). The young Eisenheim runs away and travels the world to show off his magic tricks. Several years later he comes back to Vienna (forgot to mention it was set in Vienna…sorry) to have a show. In this show the crown prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) is attending…and so is a now grown up Sophie (Now played by Jessica Biel). She and Eisenheim meets eachother again afterwards and begin a little bit of a secret romance. But that is not all of the plot, a lot of it also involves Eisenheim’s shows and inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) trying to figure out how his tricks work. And that is the story in a nutshell I suppose. To be honest I really liked it. I am not one to choose a romantic movie first-hand since they are for the most part not my cup of tea. But this storyline intrigued me (Maybe because of Edward Norton being in it, I don’t know). But it might be because of the magic-based twist this movie got. Or maybe it is because of the next segment…
The characters…sure, they are not always the most likeable, but they are portrayed so well by their respective actors that I don’t mind. I was especially impressed with Paul Giamatti and Rufus Sewell…DAMN THEY CAN ACT! I really liked their performances, and that is one of the highlights of this movie. And of course we have to give a few points to Edward Norton for being…Edward Norton, really. He is always good (He just acts in bad movies sometimes). But everyone on the acting side did a great job. Maybe Aaron Taylor-Johnson was a bit…not too good but remember, this is one of his earlier movies.
The music was FANTASTIC! The score by Philip Glass was just perfect. It not only works with the time period, but also works for the different situations in this movie. It is just beautiful and I think you should listen to it. NOW!
This movie looks beautiful! It is shot in such a way that I just love looking at it. Not only based on the lighting, but in general, the camera work is excellent! So I am not surprised that it was Oscar Nominated for best Cinematography.
This movie had really good reception. On Rotten Tomaotes it not only has a 74% positive rating, but also a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has 68/100. Roger Ebert gave this a 3,5/4 star rating (couldn’t find a good quote). 7,6/10 is the score on imdb.com.
I have said my opinions on this movie and I am now gonna amaze you with my magic trick of conjuring up a score! Yes, there it is. It is a 9,59/10 which tells me you should go buy it now. And it also tells me it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
“The Illusionist” is now reviewed.
If life is an illusion, then what the hell are hallucinations?