As an illusionist in Vienna during the early 1900’s, Eisenheim uses his illusions to thrill audiences. And he uses them to rekindle a childhood romance with Sophie, an aristocrat well above his social standing and soon to be married to Prince Leopold. As Eisenheim’s illusions grow more controversial they draw the attention of Inspector Uhl, the Prince’s right-hand man, who struggles with morality while trying to find a way to control Eisenheim, including jailing him.
Edward Norton (Eisenheim), Paul Giamatti (Inspector Uhl), Jessica Biel (Sophie), Rufus Sewell (Prince Leopold).
The summary put together above from trailers is a bit inaccurate. Eisenheim doesn’t use his illusions to rekindle the romance with Sophie, but does use them to hide the romance from Leopold, a dangerously narcissistic and violent man unafraid to use his social status to generate power. Although the plot is your basic love story and has been told with numerous variations, there isn’t much hugely unusual and most people will likely be able to figure out the ending quite early despite twists at the end. The film starts off with a bit of history and character development but quickly moves into plot development and a very enjoyable pace. Not exactly exciting but, things move along well enough to keep your interest throughout.
Acting by Norton was very well done with just the right amount of emotion. Giamatti and Sewell did good in supporting roles and of course Biel is a pleasure to watch regardless of her performance which was decent enough in this film.
Camera work, effects, and dialogue were all nicely done. Music was very nice and added a good deal to the film quality. Sets and costumes were also very nice.
Overall, this was a very good film with a lovely story and worthy of your Must See list. Those who like the drama genre as well as those who enjoy a mystery or a bit of the supernatural should find pleasure in this film.
Some mild sex and violence but, teens and above should be fine with this one.
The Illusionist is no longer showing in any Littleton Colorado movie theatres.
Star rating: 5 out of 5
copyright ©2011 Dave Riedel
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