The Illusionist (2010)HD Closed Captioning
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About the Movie
THE ILLUSIONIST is a story about two paths that cross. An outdated, aging magician, forced to wander from country to country, city to city and station to station in search of a stage to perform his act, meets a young girl at the start of her life's journey. Alice is a teenage girl with all her capacity for childish wonder still intact. She plays at being a woman without realizing the day to stop pretending is fast approaching. She doesn't know yet that she loves The Illusionist like she would a father; he already knows that he loves her as he would a daughter. Their destinies will collide, but nothing – not even magic or the power of illusion – can stop the voyage of discovery.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 121
- Fresh: 109
- Rotten: 12
- Average Rating: 7.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: A very happy marriage of Tati's and Chomet's distinctive artistic sensibilities.
Fresh: Watching "The Illusionist'' is like peering through a rippled windowpane onto a past that knows it's disappearing.
Fresh: "The Illusionist" represents the magically melancholy final act of Jacques Tati's career.
Fresh: The dialogue is multilingual but largely incidental to the action; the physical comedy is gracefully rendered and often magical.
Heartbreaking, but beautiful
Tatischeff is a magician for whom the spotlight is fading and turning to newer fads in entertainment. The date is late 50's to early 60's. He is kind and possesses an inviolable sense of dignity and code of conduct, a good man, not just a good performer. He meets Alice who gives him something to live for, possibly delaying the inevitable decline as he struggles to bring joy to her life. There is someone missing from his life, represented by a picture he carries and puts up wherever he goes. Perhaps that is the key to understanding what transpires between Tatischeff and Alice.
Many themes play out. Live entertainment is overrun by popular fads and diminished by the new entertainer beginning to appear in homes everywhere: the TV. Pressure is stronger than ever to buy the latest styles, and old ways of life are changing. The settings are gorgeous. Changes of light, changes of weather, times of day and night, we see them fade into each other, with rain bringing out the random ballets of the bumbershoots, and sun bringing out the tourist in everyone, including the viewer. We see the tragic conflicts of not just the haves and the have nots, but the "almost haves" and the "no longer haves." Tatischeff, we feel, will make it because of his character. Alice will make it because she is young and full of hope.
There is heart to this movie. The creators chose a minimalist form of dialog -- languages we may or may not speak are rendered with suggestions of sound more than actual words, though enough words are there to avoid any unwanted ambiguity. The story is clear and never lags. Ultimately there are winners, losers, and those who just keep trying, but it will break your heart, especially if you have ever been a performer, or if you have ever cared for someone who deserved more than you could give. It's a beautiful movie. I will certainly watch it again.
Another Chomet Masterpiece
Sylvain Chomet, the master storyteller / animator, creates yet another masterpiece. I am sold on his european anime since viewing "The Triplets of Belleville". What is amazing is my 2 year old son loves it on par with his favourite movies, and is totally in tune with humanity of the characters. The pace (events, music, sounds) is totally appropriate to decouple young and old(er) from daily pace of life. ALL The characters are each a "character" in his/her own right. I am delighted I purchased this production. Definitely two thumbs up.
This is such a startlingly beautiful film. It is unlike any other animation. Without the use of words, the music and art blend together to create a harmonic balance of beauty and sophistication. Rent it, at least, if you don't buy it.