In Scotland during the 1950s, a down-on-his-luck French magician meets a young woman who is convinced that he possesses true supernatural powers. Unable to break the truth to her, he finds himself giving everything he has to maintain the lie. Based on a screenplay by Jacques Tati.
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Magicians don't exist. But what is cinema if not a magic act; an attempt to conjure great spectacle, and with it genuine emotion. This is a poignant film about the passing of time, from childhood to old age, from innocence to cynicism, and a reminder that every artist will one day suffer defeat at the hands of an indifferent culture, which crushes the spirit, no matter how pure the original intention might have been.
One of the most beautiful animations that I can remember. When we see on screen a dialectic between modern and ancient, remains to us, as spectators, the enchantment with the graphic images, the ability to Chomet, using a script by Jacques Tati, who gives us emotion and nostalgia, full of sensitivity.
As Tati was unable to kill Monsieur Hulot on screen as he had originally intended with his never-filmed script Confusion, Chomet fulfills Tati's wish severely yet lovingly, giving the affable Frenchman a sorrowful sendoff that left this viewer hoping for at least one more appearance, one more cameo, after the credits. Really stunning work.
As Toti's biographer, David Bellos, put it: "All that artistry, all that effort, and all that money… for this." The Illusionist may have the beauty of Belleville, but it doesn't have half the heart. Instead, it is a movie about a man who picks up a random teenage girl, and let's her bleed his wallet dry until she meets a younger, wealthier man. Hardly what I'd call a "romantic tale".
Lush and stunningly beautiful classic hand-drawn combined with animation and tender music,this is an amazing and touching short story of a struggling illusionist and his girl companion and his mysterious "daughter". A very sweet French delight!
Sylvain Chomet adapted an unfilmed screenplay by the legendary Jacques Tati to create this sweet-natured and melancholy film about a lonely magician whose modest act is struggling against the oncoming popularity of rock & roll. A young girl's wide-eyed adoration soon rejuvenates him, but her friendship soon leads to financial trouble. Meanders a bit, but packs a surprising emotional wallop.