The Illusionist

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the only mystery I never solved was why my heart couldn’t let go of you

This film is highly recommended for people who enjoy a stylistically conveyed,  strong period-set script of a clever mystery drama including a love story.   This film successfully fits into all these genres with an additional  unique angle  that  fits none and takes it  beyond  any specific genre.   Not a good film for people who like giggles, fast  action with explosions, blood and gore, or  plots handed to you on a silver platter.  The rotten tomatoes reviews generally align well with my experience.  

8) 8) 8)  ratings explained

Description without plot-spoiler

  • The illusionist official website.
  • Cast:   Rufus Sewell, Edward Norton; Jessica Beil; Paul Giamatti;  Eddie Marsan.   Well acted. Edward Norton uses his talent for inscrutability very effectively in the role of the illusionist,   you can read into his behaviour that which you expect.
  • Genre:   period costume drama,  mystery, social commentary, love story.   The plot is not a standard Hollywood format unravelling in a pleasingly unpredictable path.
  • Sets:   outstanding European venues including steam trains, theatres, palaces, country parks, mountain ranges.
  • Music:   Philip Glass.   the modern music, referencing period genres  works extremely well with the nature of the film, period with novel storyline detail.
  • Female roles: only one notable role for a female.   The love lead,   now there’s a surprise.   Jessica Beil’s character is written with the standard ‘modern’ perspective on a period female-character expressing her control in a modern manner yet still managing to be a victim of the patriarchy.   The character is  poorly written.
  • chic flick?:   possibly,   not being a chic it’s difficult for me to tell.   It’s not a puke-inducing pinky film of dominantly girl-cast with  bland males seeking them out.
  • Photography: captivating, stylistic yet not intrusive camera work with a strong tendancy to using high contract sepia tones and fuzzy-edged backlighting.   Expertly interwoven visual effects including animations.
The Illusionist
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