Top positive review
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A most enjoyable piece of period ‘escapism’. A good story line, well acted, and keeps you involved throughout.
on 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.