Monday, June 14, 2010

Movie of the Week - The Illusionist

This week’s movie is The Illusionist (2006).

The film is about a magician who falls in love with a woman above his social standing in turn-of-the-century Vienna. He is also in conflict with the Crown Prince who is both corrupt and committed to forcing the magician’s love to marry him. Thus, the illusionist must use his abilities to not only win his love away but also thwart the evil Crown Prince. The film has a wonderful cast with extraordinary performances from Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Rufus Sewell. Jessica Biel and Eddie Marsan co-star and are good too. Along with the great performances the film features fantastic technical work from cinematographer Dick Pope (master work really), another classic score from Philip Glass and visually interesting set design and artistic work from production designer Ondrej Nekvasil. What makes this film great is director Neil Burger. He is able to garner strong performances, utilize his technical assets to their highest output, while creating a stylistically superb film (the narrative is great too). The film harkens back to early cinema in its visual style, which fits the time period of the film well. The film is a must see for cinema fans (it is a bit like that year’s film The Prestige). Check out the trailer.

The Illusionist [Blu-ray/DVD]

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