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on 3 May 2017
Whoa,this film is unexpectedly poignant and also,you have no idea where the film is going next.You can't take your eyes off the screen for a second,just in case something happens - and it often does too.
It is well animated and has an interesting plot - Magicians do not exist,merely illusionists.
It took me a while after the film to comprehend why the Ventriloquist's dummy was offered for free
and why the girl was so interested in the television shop.
It made me laugh when it became clear the reason the illusionist wouldn't,at first,eat his rabbit stew.
There is lots of good humour and good observational comedy and depictions,especially with the language barrier.
To say this is just a commentary on the decline of the music hall circuit is an understatement.
There's tons of other stuff here too.It's not your usual Disney/Pixar or Dreamworks affair,nor is it meant to be,that's the point.
I was thoroughly entertained by this film and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
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on 3 September 2015
This is a kind of bitter,sweet tale,unlike Belleville Rendez-vous,an earlier Sylvain Chomet Film,not a huge amount of big laughs.It is an adaptation of a Jacques Tati script.The Animation is more conventional,less veering towards Gerald Scarfe,than Belleville Rendez-vous .The story is set around 1959,and the magician,who is looking,and moving,like Tati`s Hulot goes to London to do his act on stage,but almost all the crowd,came to see the Rock & Roll group.It is a theme with Tati,like his Playtime film,looking at the changes,of the modern age,and the decline,and confict,with the new,and old.Much of it pre-to post WW2,but here,it is more pre to the advent,of Rock & Roll.After the London show,he goes to an Island ,off the west coast of Scotland,they end up getting a Juke-box,and the Rock & Roll over shadows him again,he then goes to Edinburgh,but a young woman tags along with him.It is all separate beds,and no hanky panky ,at one stage,at the digs,with other show people,she takes some soup in to a man,interupting a suicide attempt.Other than this scene,the rest is ok for children,but,as to if they like it,is another thing.The magician does his show,the young woman meets,a young man,the Rock & Roll group turns up,and the magician goes up in the hills,and releases his white rabbit.He leaves a note,saying,Magicians do not exist,and goes,i assume home.We are left ,to wonder,if he gives up the act,thinking,it is old,and had it`s day,or,if he solders on,but minus the rabbit,of course.It is very well made,and worth a watch,but,if you want laughs,check out Bellville Rendez-vous,called this uk only,The Triplets Of Belleville elsewhere,if you do not like this,i feel sorry for you,check,if you have a pulse.Still to be released,as i write,The Thousand Miles,set in Italy,based around The Mille Miglia type car racing.Back to The Illusionist,i might mention,that English,is not listed,at the start,but,a lot of it is Ooo,Mmmm ,Aaargh,and,even Marcel Marceau like mime,in some bits,i am English,and had no trouble at all following the story,some English is spoken anyhow.It is a great watch,if you like it see Belleville Rendevous,a modern Animation Great.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 January 2012
I was raised on Jacques Tati, so to see him brought to life just one more time was a real treat.

The reviews for this film have raised a multitude of points and observations, the majority of which are valid. My own views are thus:

The film oozes charm. Like Tati's own films, the devil is in the detail and there are some delightful touches, for example the cinema scene where they are showing Tati's 'Mon Oncle'.

The plot throughout is bitter-sweet, playing on the emotions and you are on the Magician's side from the start as he is swept aside by the latest fads.

The friendship between the magician and the little girl is adoreable but I think could have been expanded a little.

The animation is lovely and different from the run of the mill films churned out across the Atlantic. Viva la Difference!

All in all, this is a delightful film - perhaps more for adults than children, but a triumph nevertheless.
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on 4 March 2017
For those of you that are familiar with Edinburgh - the cake will be iced! This charming cartoon (for want of a better description) is rather sad & covers the rather charged subject of man's relationship with a young girl with the ambivalent baggage that entails. I first saw this when visiting friends in Edinburgh so resonated very nicely. A classic!
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on 14 April 2011
Can a film that contains no dialogue still be seen as a foreign language film? This is question I asked myself after watching the French animation `The Illusionist'. I conclude that although there is no language as such (a tiny amount is in French) the overall look and feel of the film has the makings of director Sylvain Chomet, a Frenchman. `The Illusionist' follows an out of work magician during the 1960s as he travels from France to the remote islands of Scotland looking for a gig. Here he meets a naïve young girl who he treats with kindness. Enough kindness that she follows him to Edinburgh to help establish his stage act. What is his relationship between this non English speaking Frenchman and quiet Scots girl all about, and do people want magicians anymore?

To say that the pace of `The Illusionist' is slow is an insult to the likes of snails and sloths. The film is incredibly laid back and animator/director Chomet is not going to rush for anyone. This acts as the magic that glues this eccentric film together; the slow pace is in perfect keeping with the wonderful animation and collection of eccentric characters. Although no dialogue is spoken in the film you are given indications of what is happening by body language and mutterings. The relationship between the Illusionist and the girl is not really explained and is open to some interpretation - I took it within the spirit of the film as a platonic relationship between two lost souls.

The ambiguity of the central relationship could be levied as an issue with the majority of the film. Who are these people, what are they doing, why should I care? Chomet creates a cold and standoffish story that some people will struggle to connect with. However, I found that the animation was excellent enough to draw you into the world and the feel that Chomet is trying to create. `The Illusionist' is a curio, but one with a warm heart.
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on 1 June 2015
Amazing to finally get to see this classic at it's full quality. It's a crime it didn't get a UK bluray release, especially seeing as the story is mainly based here, but some very minor hassle in turning off the subtitles is the only difference. The vendor kindly includes complete instructions on this simple process. For visuals this lavish I'm glad I didn't settle for the dvd version. Easily my favorite animated film of recent years, possibly ever.
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on 4 March 2014
A MASTERPIECE that rivals Spirited Away and Steamboy for excellent atmospheric animatation

As said its bit slow so will not be to the liking of all... My 2 boys found it boring, but if your into French Films, remember the ReD Balloon, well this is in a similar genre...

nJoy!
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on 24 May 2017
I LOVE THIS FILM SO WILL YOU NOT MUCH SPEAKING BUT THAT'S GOOD
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on 13 February 2016
This is very good! A must see!
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on 17 March 2017
Fast shipping, good quality dvd
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