There's a charming simplicity to THE ILLUSIONIST which has suffered repeated comparison to Nolan's serpentine PRESTIGE. A beautifully-shot period romance that unwisely switches to mystery mode, it contains two very good things. First: Rufus Sewell's quietly explosive portrayal of tragic Prince Leopold who is, in my mind, unfairly maligned as villain by a creepy magician (Ed Norton). And second: Philip Glass.
"Have we not each experienced the sensation that a beautiful moment seemed to pass to quickly, and wished that we could make it linger? Or felt time slow on a dull day, and wished that we could speed things up a bit?" -Eisenehim
Continues the contemporary, predictable and trite shyamalan tradition of "surprising twist at the end". there's nothing particularly significant in the premise nor the results, aside from a good cinematography and score.
I don't know what the deal with Ed Norton is, but he only seemed like a good actor in 'Primal Fear' and 'Fight Club'. He just seems like he's playing himself. Hollywood is driven by fear, and if a picture is greenlit, then the other studios will try to beat them in releasing a similar movie first. If the first one does well, then the other usually tanks. In this case, this is not a good movie. See 'The Prestige'.
Really beautiful film with a fun and thrilling story. Sort of easy to call the ending but at the journey was entertaining and the acting was great. The scene capture above might be the best moment of the film.
It's a completely serviceable film marred by zero chemistry between Norton and Biel; not to mention the stupid decision to vignette everything in post. The Illusionist is ambitious enough to try and explore love, mystery, and political stories all in one fell swoop; but fails to deliver anything compelling on all three fronts.