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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 10 February 2017
Adapted from a short story by Steven Millhauser, I found this period film of escapism (in more ways than one) thoroughly enjoyable.

Set in 1900’s Vienna, Edward Norton plays the talented illusionist Eisenheim, who met and fell in love with Sophie (played by Jessica Biel) as a boy.
They were forced apart because she was of noble birth, whereas he was the son of a carpenter.
But they meet up again 15 years later when Eisenheim has learned the Illusionist craft and Sophie is now a Duchess, and due to become engaged to Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) as part of his plan to depose his father.

The meeting rekindles the strong childhood love which has never really diminished, but the Prince is determined that Eisenheim should be crushed and uses his tame police Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) to pursue that end.

A very refreshing change in film type for me. Whether true to period or not, the costumes and surroundings were interesting, all the actors I have mentioned played their parts very well, and the illusions were different from many seen today.
Of course, we know that these illusions are definitely down to camera tricks and acting, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable, and the ‘ultimate illusion’ which forms the latter part of the story line is well thought through.
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on 25 July 2017
The Illusionist is a simple enough love story. Two young people whose friendship was doomed due to class meet again. What makes this one stand out is the quality of the acting; each person seemed born for their role. Giamatti excelled as the police chief struggling with his morals, beautifully demonstrated by: Eisenheim: Are you totally corrupt? Inspector Uhl: No, not totally. Sewell, whilst his part was rather one-dimensional, epitomised those corrupted by power almost within their grasp. Marshan became a typical agent, but still well acted. With such backing Norton and Biel, the lead couple, had no excuse for not putting in premium performances, but they didn't need them. If that is your bent, you could pick holes in the story, but why should you. It was enticing. No one bit was especially brilliant but the whole was magic.
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on 7 September 2016
OMG!!!!!! I am compelled to write a review on a film....I have never before!
This film is the best film I have ever watched, it is very very cleverly written with twists and especially the ending!!!!
I often HATE the bad sudden ending of films which leaves you with questions, or question the writer compatibility of writing an ending of a script......I even found with this film I was gripped at the ending, so unpredictable, it was ingenious!!!!!
Previously think how good the actor in films were etc, but this is the first time I have thought, I am going to look up who the script writer is.
When I am asked what film I would watch, I would think ummmm, I won't be saying ummmmm anymore, that is for sure.
Don't loose interest watch on, everything counts, I say no more.

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on 25 October 2016
A gentle romance, gently told, with some stylish acting chemistry and all rather tastefully done. The (good) manners and class expectations of turn of the century Vienna dominate and here even the policemen observe all the courtesies, if Crown Princes do not. There were nods in all sorts of interesting directions, Houdini, The Prestige, Kafka, Taoism (and even Matt Damon's "Hereafter"), but none were really developed. This was a pity, as, for example, the international (oriental) flavour of some of the magic with a little more grounding would have been a lot more convincing. That said, the allusiveness of the whole was fun, and clearly both Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti enjoy themselves, thus ensuring we do too. One for the young at heart.
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on 17 November 2016
A truly rare thing these days, a truly perfectly crafted tale, whose slow pace is nevertheless choreographed to keep the attention all the way through. A perfect example of how momentum is nothing to do with speed. Beautifully acted throughout, well cast, costumed and set. Really can't find fault except in myself - wondering why I didn't notice it before
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on 10 December 2016
An entertaining film that keeps the viewers attention very well. A few familiar faces appear, but the actors names may escape you, they did with me anyway, But I digress. The film is well scripted and well acted, without being over the top. The magical element which could have been 'Hammy' is about right and adds to the overall mystery.
The conclusion is a bit predictable, but how the end result was acheived will keep you guessing until the reveal. I worked out what would happen quite early on, but the actual method had me beaten.
Overall, a good film and worth watching.
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on 22 May 2017
A well acted period spectacle that will keep you guessing throughout. Until the final reveal, which I must confess is slightly underwhelming but not enough to overshadow the journey you take getting there. Well worth your time.
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on 28 February 2009
Hugely entertaining and beautifully filmed. The plot is gripping from start to finish and the whole film gives an insight into the fine line between illusion and reality and the misdirections upon which magicians depend. This reminded me of 'House of Games' on which Ricky Jay also collaborated and which is also a great film. The sets, costumes and scenery are simply magnificent and while I agree with the comment that the colourisation of the film is slightly over-saturated I never found this annoying. Edward Norton Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti are all completely convincing in their roles and Rufus Sewell also excels as the wicked son of the Emperor. How the Americans love to see the Brits cast as the bad guy. This is the only aspect of the film I found slightly irritating.
The directors commentary is very enjoyable and explaims many of the mysteries in the plot, illusions and special effects you can't work out for yourself.
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on 20 March 2015
This is a beautifully crafted film. Excellent script, excellent acting and direction and beautifully shot. Obviously you get the idiots who rather than review the movie decide they should review a faulty product - you don't help anyone by saying " my disc was faulty". Criticise the seller not the movie you stupid people! Sorry rant over. Getting back to the movie really entertaining and well worth a viewing.
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on 22 July 2016
Poetic, surprising, magnificent movie. Ed Norton is at his best. Impressive supporting cast. The image is beautiful. The dialogues are superb. Great music. Kudos to the director for a superior work of art.
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