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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I see the theme of the film as of corporate takeover of art; the Beatles-like band and the cinema instead of the veritié acts, crafted with commercial appeal instead of love and care. How much can an artist take before selling his soul? The girl buys artificial images of womanhood and becomes less for it as well.
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.
It's gorgeously brimming with melancholy, beautiful imagery and a wonderfully articulate aesthetic that establishes Chomet as one of the more exciting filmmakers of the last ten years. Using Tati's original as his source, he moves the story forward through his endearing use of near dialogue-less scenes following the nomadic existence of a French illusionist. An astonishing love story of sorts.
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.
If you're a fan of Tati's work, you'll probably love this film. Tatischeff's movements are animated so well that at times I forgot that this wasn't live action, and Chomet's choice to use very little dialogue fits right in with Tati's oeuvre. There are scenes that are incredibly charming but the ending is heartbreakingly beautiful. I wouldn't be able to watch it often, but I will definitely watch it again.