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The Illusionist

Edward Norton  Actor Paul Giamatti  Actor Jessica Biel  Actor Rufus Sewell  Actor Eddie Marsan  Actor

PG13

MPAA Rating: PG13
Contains:Violence,Adult Situations,Sexual Situations

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The Illusionist

Theatrical Release Date: 2006 08 18 (USA - Limited) / 2006 09 01 (USA)

UPC: 024543408413

Studio: 20th Century Fox

MPAA Rating: PG13   Contains:[Violence, Adult Situations, Sexual Situations]

Summary: A supernaturally talented magician attempts to undermine the rigid social structure of turn-of-the-century Vienna by using his powers to win the love of his upper-class, childhood sweetheart in director Neil Burger's cinematic adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steven Millhauser's short story. Though the ill-fated childhood romance between cabinetmaker's son Eisenheim (Edward Norton) and upper-class Sophie von Teschen (Jessica Biel) eventually resulted in the heartbroken young man leaving Austria to explore the world, his dreams of one day reuniting with the beautiful duchess never faded. Upon returning to Vienna 15 years later as a talented and renowned illusionist, Eisenheim's hopes of a reunion seem dashed when he learns that Sophie is currently engaged to the Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). As the tensions between the Eisenheim and Leopold elevate, urbane Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) finds his sympathy toward Eisenheim growing, despite his formal obligations to the powerful prince. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Category: Drama

Awards: Film Presented – Newport Beach International Film Festival Film Presented – Sundance Film Festival Best Screenplay – Independent Spirit Awards Best Cinematography – New York Film Critics Online Best Score – New York Film Critics Online Best Score – Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Cinematography – San Diego Film Critics Association Best Original Score – Online Film Critics Association Best Cinematography – American Society of Cinematographers Best Cinematography – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Costumes in a Period Film – Costume Guild Awards

Features: Feature audio commentary by writer/director Neil Burger
The making of The Illusionist featurette
Jessica Biel on The Illusionist featurette

The Illusionist

Format: DVD

Release Date: 01/09/2007

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Pre-1954 Standard

Audio: DD5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1

Runtime: 109 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Language(s) English

Subtitles: English,Spanish

Region: USA & territories, Canada

Cammila Collar

As a movie about magic, The Illusionist is a deft and beautiful magic trick of its own, making you only too happy to follow its suave and alluring misdirection so that its glorious big finish can have its full effect. Don't be surprised if you find yourself hoping against hope that The Illusionist's conjurings are real -- both those of the script and those performed by star magician Ed Norton. The film inspires us, in a rather innocent and old-fashioned style, to be carried off by its charisma and theatricality. This works in contrast to the direction of another dark and mysterious film about turn-of-the-century magicians that was released in close proximity, The Prestige. Comparisons between the two films have remained unavoidable, but while the fevered hunt in The Prestige is for the answer to how the magician performs his trick, in The Illusionist, this question takes a very modest back seat to the enchantment of its romantic melodrama. It plays out like a Victorian Wilkie Collins novel, wrapping its truly authentic characters in a haunting layer of dark and delicious drama. Even Jessica Biel, who may not seem a perfect fit to play Norton's star-crossed lover/an Austrian duchess, plays her part with ease, as her surrounding cast provides such richness that the audience requires little more from her than her quite believable devotion to the politically unpopular title character. The balletic repetitions of Philip Glass' score are expertly interwoven with each mysterious moment, offering both suspense and revelation with such precision, you may be reminded of The Usual Suspects or Sea of Love, despite the horses and carriages. The Illusionist is spun out of the very same fabric that it presents to you: the material of theatrics. It will prompt you again and again, through lush attention to period detail and the graceful transcendence of its archetypical characters, to give into the desire to believe what you see -- and more often than not, it succeeds. Norton's brooding, melancholy romantic lead and Paul Giamatti's ebullient star detective are so appropriate and so well crafted that what might seem boring or clichéd in the hands of less accomplished actors becomes a masterful web of interaction that we can only catch a glimpse of in one bewitching setting: a dark theater. ~ Cammila Collar, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Philip Glass  Composer (Music Score) 
Michael London  Producer 
Bob Yari  Producer 
Brian Koppelman  Producer 
David Levien  Producer 
Neil Burger  Director 
Neil Burger  Screenwriter 
Cathy Schulman  Producer 
Tom Nunan  Executive Producer 
Jane Garnett  Executive Producer 
Ted Liebowitz  Executive Producer 
Joey Horvitz  Executive Producer 
Edward Norton  Actor 
Paul Giamatti  Actor 
Jessica Biel  Actor 
Rufus Sewell  Actor 
Eddie Marsan  Actor 
Jake Wood  Actor 
Tom Fisher  Actor 
Karl Johnson  Actor 
Aaron Taylor-Johnson  Actor 
Eleanor Tomlinson  Actor 

Country: USA