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Film Viewers Commentary Love, honor, and magic Film News And Views - Film Viewers Commentary - Love, honor, and magic Film Viewers Commentary,,Love,honor,and magic,recommendation,shopping,advice,simple,movies,films,film news and views,news and views,film industy,movie reviews,film news,film,news,views,television,made for tv movies,interactive entertainment,hollywood,hollywood news,celebrity news,insiders perspective,film reviewer,watch film,film trailer,new releases,new release,new release movie,new release film,movie reviewer,opinion,viewpoint,forum,discussion
Love, honor, and magic

Oct 29, 2006

During interrogation by Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) in "The Illusionist", the magician Eisenheim (Edward Norton) confesses to his supporting crowd, "Everything you have seen here has been an illusion." Perhaps, everything we have seen has been a wonderfully crafted illusion by Director and Writer Neil Burger. Based on the short story by Steven Millhauser, "The Illusionist" is a tale ultimately about love, honor, and magic. This is a stark contrast to the other magicians' movie, "The Prestige" which is about the cost of fame and all consuming obsession. Edward Norton's powerful performance as illusionist Eisenheim, who pursues love and honor, inspires and compels in "The Illusionist". From that point of view, I enjoyed "The Illusionist" more. "The Illusionist" is an impassioned and timeless love story set in the world of magic of the late nineteenth century.

Before becoming Eisenheim the Illusionist, Edward became entranced with magic as a young boy. Edward's first love is Sophie. However, social privilege keeps them apart. Edward is from a poor family. Sophie is a young Duchess. Edward designs a keepsake of his love for Sophie, which she wears. Unfortunately, Edward is forced to leave to protect himself and his family.

Edward returns to Vienna as Eisenheim 15 years later. He is an accomplished magician of great talent. He rediscovers the love of his life Sophie (beautiful Jessica Biel) is still in Vienna, and about to be engaged to Prince Leopold (noble and unsavory Rufus Sewell). This arranged family marriage is purely for political leverage. Eisenheim has always loved Sophie, and she has always loved him. The suspicious and paranoid Leopold tasks his Chief Inspector Uhl (Giamatti) with uncovering Eisenheim's secrets—magic and personal. Uhl fancies himself as a magic amateur and fan. The magic performed in "The Illusionist" is spectacular. My bud Tom, who is an accomplished magician and student of the art, told me that these are classic magic tricks dating way back. So there is great authenticity and atmosphere to Burger's "The Illusionist". His final twist is more redemption, than merely shock.

The performances are impeccable. Edward Norton has this sublime power on screen as Eisenheim. He is a commanding presence, who is never over done. He brilliantly balances both compassion and angst. He breathes refreshing nobility within his character. Paul Giamatti is awesome. In a sense "The Illusionist" works, because of his believable performance as Inspector Uhl. This is particularly true in the amazing scene toward the end. Giamatti, always so natural, embodies such humanity. Jessica Biel is a welcome surprise. She is stunningly beautiful, and possesses an underlying strength and vulnerability as Sophie. Neil Burger orchestrates "The Illusionist" with masterful strokes. The storytelling is impassioned, stylish, and inspiring. "The Illusionist" is a great movie.

  March 20, 2019

Film Viewers Commentary,,Love,honor,and magic,recommendation,shopping,advice,simple,movies,films,film news and views,news and views,film industy,movie reviews,film news,film,news,views,television,made for tv movies,interactive entertainment,hollywood,hollywood news,celebrity news,insiders perspective,film reviewer,watch film,film trailer,new releases,new release,new release movie,new release film,movie reviewer,opinion,viewpoint,forum,discussion