Monday, February 7, 2011

Movie of the Week - The Prestige

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

The drama mystery based on the novel by Christopher Priest is about two feuding magicians, Alfred Borden and Robert Angier – their rivalry extents past just who is the better illusionist but into an obsession. Each must to not only be more prominent but also to destroy the other, which has lasting and devastating consequences for both men. The film is directed by Christopher Nolan, who utilizes his frequent collaborators (composer David Julyan, cinematographer Wally Pfister, editor Lee Smith, and production designer Nathan Crowley) to craft an excellent narrative both tonally and stylistically. The film also has a fantastic cast with superb leading performances from Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, and fine supporting work from Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, David Bowie, Andy Serkis, Piper Perabo, and Roger Rees. What makes the film great is Nolan’s narrative structure – the film is about magicians and magic tricks, and the film itself is a magic trick in a sense (the opening line is “Are you watching closely?”). It is also a period drama, but feels modern and unlike any Victorian era piece. Bale and Jackman are also in top form, anything less would have hurt this film’s ability to draw the viewer in to the extent that it does. While it tells you to pay attention and watch closely, and explains how tricks work, it is still able to pull one over on the audience. It is just a brilliant film and a must see. Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD and to Rent

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