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Plot: A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever. Runtime: 80 mins Release Date: 11 Feb 2011
Simplicity is a very interesting word that is defined in many ways. "The Illusionist" is a film that is synonymous with this word and is a visual representation of the art of simplicity. Nominated for every major best Animated Feature Film award including a 2011 Oscar Nomination birth, "The Illusionist" is more than just one of the best-animated films of the year. Will it win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film? Probably not just because "Toy Story 3" went on a record breaking spree within the animation genre, however, "The Illusionist" is just as <more>
good as "Toy Story 3" if not a little better. The film is based off of a script written in the late 1950s by a French, mime, actor, and director named Jacques Tati, but was forgotten about until Director Syvain Chomet picked up the script and ran with it producing an 80 minute animated masterpiece. The film follows the travels of a French Illusionist from town to town looking for work while performing his artistic magician craft in small shows. However, his profession is lost within the changing entertainment era causing him to lose hope, until one day while traveling in Scotland he met a young girl named Alice. Alice changes his life with her belief that he is actually a real magician seeing through the illusion of magic and personifying it into being. The Illusionist becomes a father or grandfather figure to her as they grow together down very separate paths.The simplicity of the film goes hand in hand with the authenticity and depth of the very easy to watch story. The animation is 2D brilliance with every image on the screen having deeper meaning of some sort. The film uses its filmatic space avoiding lulls and capturing the viewer's attention with its very short run time. This is achieved by the craft of Director Chomet who has created a picture that is so well done it does not even feel like its animated. This can be attributed to cinematography used with the animation. A camera seems as if it is filming the film almost as an alternative reality in a medium that would not of been as effective if it had not been animated. Authenticity is evident even with the minimal dialogue acting a throwback to a simpler era; silent film. It does not rely on its dialogue at all spreading it few and far between, however, when there is dialogue it is true to the setting and the nature of the film. It is in French and guess what? There aren't any annoying subtitles.For some viewers the fact that the film is in French and that there aren't subtitles I bet the DVD/Blu-Ray will have the option it may be very frustrating. Also, this is not necessarily a kids movie. Kids will enjoy the magic behind "The Illusionist", but will not appreciate it as much as adults because of the immense amount of symbolism in the film.Contemporary film seems to be all about glamor, special effects, and money leading to the creation of hit or miss films. However, film as an art is much simpler than that, which is a metaphor that resonates within the must see film "The Illusionist". Remember simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.
Delicate but vibrant, hand-carved charmer (by cliffhanley_)
The long-awaited follow-up to Belleville Rendez-Vous is out at last, and director Sylvain Chomet must be the number one in a field of one, when it comes to contenders for making a long-lost Jaques Tati script into a feature-length animation.The underlying premise of the story here is the same as in all Tati's films: Old is Good, New is Bad. Variety theatre conjurer Monsieur Taticheff is one of the last of the old troupers as TV and rock 'n' roll kill off music hall in the late 1950s. In search of gigs, he takes his grumpy old rabbit and leaves Paris for London, then heads north to <more>
the Scottish isles and finally Edinburgh. Along the way he is joined by bored and lonely little Alice, who believes his tricks are the real thing. He has to take on menial jobs to keep up the illusion of magically producing yet more gifts for her.The Paris, London, countryside and Edinburgh of the Fifties are lovingly recreated in charming detail, always bathed in the warm light of nostalgia, and all people - and even the animals - are extreme caricatures while being totally sympatico. The hand-drawn, hand-carved feel of the whole film is greatly added to by some amazing special effects, and not surprisingly with Chomet, there is some genuine magic tucked in there, too. There's just too much in almost every scene to grasp at one sitting, from the crowded country pub to the busy, aerial views of Edinburgh and, like Belleville, it will bear several return visits. It's a truly fantastic ode to the theatre, pre-motorway Britain, Jaques Tati himself and the bitter-sweet meaning of life.
Realism within a magical animation of exceptional beauty (by laura_macleod)
Life is hard and sometimes beautiful - this fact is a theme that runs through the beautiful animation called The Illusionist. Let's get the following fact straight; the animation is so beautiful it leaves one in awe. In an age of computer Pixar type stories that drown one's senses in garish images and voiceovers from Hollywood celebrities - The Illusionist is pure and and unadulterated. Enough has been said about the story on this site and the story is poignant and deeply felt by the director and aptly conveyed to the audience. It is not boring at all - but it takes its time to show <more>
you the pain of life and the beauty of kindness and continuing hope through the gesture of love and sharing. Remember all you cynics who judge the actions of the old man - it was the young girl who pursued HIM. Why? Because she saw his love and she saw it as a way to escape her misery and drudgery. There was nothing seedy in their connection at all. The backdrop of Scotland and Edinburgh was magical and true. Edinburgh is a magnificent dark old city where is rains MOST of the time. The black rock and imposing buildings were marvellously drawn and gave an immense depth to the story. What a fantastic place to set this story of pain and joy, reward and loss....the idea that Edinburgh was in any way insulted by this story is ludicrous. It was a celebration of Edinburgh's contrasts and the light of the city in rain or sun, night or day. It was a direct message to the range of human emotions that humans feel day by day. The magician had suffered great loss in his life, but it did not make him bitter or cruel; it made him kind and giving and even when he had invested so much love in the girl for no motive other than to GIVE; he was ready to give her the moment to pursue her youthful dreams of young love. As in all experiences of life - love and relationships are transient and the Illusionist shows this very well. The final scenes are sad because they deal with the fact that in life we cannot always have what we want or need. The Illusionist departs and the young couple are left walking along a rainy street in Edinburgh - the nature of young love is to see hope and light in everything; for those times of new love it is hard to see that life teaches one hard lessons. The road is long and can be at times beautiful and many times not. The Illusionist is one of the most beautiful stories to emerge in modern animation for a very long time.
This is the opening film at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival and I was lucky enough to see it today with my delegate pass. It's an animated film by Slyvain Chomet. The film did well at Berlin Film Festival earlier this year and I predict it will do very well at Edinburgh this year as well. Briefly the film is about a French magician struggling with his trade, who meets a young Scottish girl. They travel to Edinburgh together and explore the city. I don't want to say too much more than that for anyone reading who wasn't seen the film. Things I loved about the <more>
film were that there was barely any dialogue, most things said were in either french or Gaelic and I understand neither, yet I understood the whole film. This is because visually the story is told through actions not words. It's masterfully told this way and beautifully drawn,The visuals were just stunning. I live in Edinburgh where most of the film is set and it made me want to get out and enjoy the city. The drawings aren't always geographically accurate but this doesn't matter. That doesn't affect the film, I just happened to notice because I live here.I loved the subtle humour in some of the backgrounds. Your eye was skilfully drawn to the right places by use of colour placement. A warm glow behind the main character may link to a flyer stuck to the wall. The main character will then walk to pick up this flyer. This was brilliant.On the downside I thought that towards the end the story began to lag a little, maybe just being a tad too long. Other than this there was little I did not like. The ending though when it came brought me to the verge of tears, it was that beautiful. I urge everyone to go see this film when it comes out, or in EIFF if you can get tickets.
You won't find a 2010 movie more visually beautiful than this one. (by Ryan_MYeah)
Based on an unpublished script by Jacques Tati, The Illusionist follows a magician named Tatischeff, a man whose art form of illusion is dying. He begins taking any job that comes along his way, and even while in Scotland, is accompanied by a young girl named Alice. Tatischeff and Alice develop a sort of father/daughter bond, and Tatischeff ponders his own life as well.The film is directed by Sylvain Chomet, the man probably best known for his 2003 animated art-house feature The Triplets of Belleville. One thing that I simply adore about The Illusionist is that Chomet follows closely to the <more>
phrase "Actions speak louder than words." The film's dialogue is minimal, and for it's storytelling relies almost entirely on animation, body language, and a simple, but beautiful musical score written by Chomet himself.This isn't even mentioning the animation style itself. I've seen many 2010 movies, but The Illusionist is easily the most gorgeous. The characters are given fluid and realistic movements, and the ambient surroundings of the city and hillsides are outstanding examples of art-direction. I practically had to suppress the tears And no, I'm not kidding .You may find a movie you like better than The Illusionist, but frankly, I don't think you'll be able to find a SINGLE. DAMN. MOVIE. more beautiful than this one.I give it ***1/2 out of ****
Sylvain Chomet's love letter to Edinburgh (by Red-Barracuda)
Sylvain Chomet's feature The Illusionist is another strikingly beautiful animated work. Like Belleville Rendezvous before it, this film features a slightly downbeat but amusing narrative and likable characters. The world they live in is by turns grotesque and beautiful. Like the earlier film, there is virtually no dialogue either, usually just half-heard snapshots of words. The story instead is told via the actions of the characters. Perhaps unsurprisingly the narrative is very simple. But the beauty of this film is not in the storyline but in the details. It's in the gorgeously <more>
atmospheric settings, the melancholic characters and the frequent moments of quirky humour. The Illusionist is another triumph for this wonderful French animator.The film is set for the most part in Scotland. And the mysterious misty Highland scenery coupled with the medieval and Georgian beauty of Edinburgh are perfect subject matter for Chomet's style of art. There has always been an enigmatic element of the sublime to this artists work, and the Scottish setting fits him like a glove. It's truly a love letter – especially – to the grand old town of Edinburgh. But the film is more than an aesthetically beautiful exercise, as there are a number of memorable characters and a definite emotional core. This viewer had a lump in his throat at the end, although admittedly the story pleasing does finish on a happy and hopeful note.In summary, The Illusionist is a beautiful and melancholic film about the coming-of-age of a young girl and the end-of-an-era for a type of entertainer. Fabulous stuff.
Sylvain Choment's latest film adapts a script by Jacques Tati. The film's unique style is only being shown in forty cinemas across the UK, its box office status falling behind the animated Pixar hit Toy Story 3.Those who are followers of Tati's work or loved Belleville Rendez-vous will inevitably be drawn to such as personal piece. As will those seeking out a different experience from Disney, Pixar and even Studio Ghibli animation. This film, however, may confuse or bore those who are looking for the usual Hollywood narrative. It is a shame the detail of this touching story will <more>
Agree With Most Of The People Here (by ccthemovieman-1)
I pretty much had the same opinion of this film as most of the reviewers here on IMDb. I loved the incredible, stunning visuals but thought the story was so-so.You'd be hard-pressed to find a prettier animated film, especially when viewed on Blu-Ray. The artwork in here is simply jaw-dropping, scene after scene. I just wish the story had been as much fun as Sylvan Chomet's previous effort, "The Triplets Of Belleville." This story is kind of drab - the opposite of the beautiful drawings, under the art direction of Bjame Hansen.For you adults that would like a serious, almost <more>
melodramatic story in a different genre animation , this film should be extremely appealing.For the artwork alone, I found it worthwhile watching.
With The Illusionist on the Oscar race, perhaps it's a good time to finally review it. I've never seen a movie by Jacques Tati and I wonder how much that has affected my complete enjoyment of this movie, which is based on an original screenplay by him and whose protagonist, the magician Tatischeff, is patterned after his mannerisms and physical appearance. Although this dimension of the movie will elude me until I discover the Tati's work, I can still say that Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist is one of the best movies of 2010.I've been thinking about it since I saw it, in <more>
the last days of December, trying to understand what makes it so incredible; the movie took me for a roller-coaster of emotions and the finale broke my heart. And it did it with economy and subtlety. Perhaps the greatest trick this movie plays is being so simple. It has no dialogue, no famous actors loaning their voices to the characters. Its quality is intangible, impossible to pinpoint.Tatischeff, a travelling French illusionist in the '50s, plies his trade all over Europe, going, always with his irascible rabbit, wherever people will hire him to perform his magic tricks. Business isn't doing very well, though, because of new competing forms of entertainment – in one hilarious sequence Chomet shows the illusionist having to wait on the backstage for a Beatles-inspired rock band to finish their act before he can get on stage. There's a feeling of an era fading away in this movie; a running theme is the demise of the old vaudeville performers: magicians, clowns, puppeteers, acrobats, etc., living in cheap hotels, unemployed, prone to suicide and alcoholism. Tatischeff belongs to a breed that wanes mentally and emotionally before dying physically.Finding it harder and harder to go, he finds a new reason to live when he meets Alice, a maid working at a Scottish hotel. He takes her under her wing and takes her with her in his travels. Chomet makes it pretty clear that nothing sexual goes on between the two. Their relationship is of a father taking care of a daughter. For her he sacrifices everything he has to make her happy. In the end he even sacrifices his magic tricks and sense of wonder. He gets jobs to support her but his ineptitude for anything practical becomes apparent in many humorous gags. He tries to combine magic with advertising only for his love for magic to wither. As he becomes disillusioned, Alice grows into an independent woman who finds happiness without him. She seems to get more out of him that he out of her. He doesn't judge or blame her. His sacrifices, which can't be explained with mere altruism, finally make sense in the end.Chomet's animated movie creates and develops in 80 minutes and without words two unique personalities that we grow attached to immediately. There's something wrong when an emotionless, exposition-heavy movie like Inception gets nominated for Best Original Screenplay and this movie, told only with the strength of images, doesn't. It was David Mamet who said that "a good film script should be able to do completely without dialogue." The Illusionist does just that and creates two characters I considered more real and cared more for than a few flesh and blood characters from Christopher Nolan's 148-minute-long movie.However has watched Chomet's The Triplets of Belleville knows that this French animator continues to work with old-fashioned hand-drawn animation and that he mixes it with a personal style that oscillates between the poetic and the bizarre. Chomet is not a slave to realism but nevertheless his incursions into the nostalgic and the melancholy reveal fascinating nuances about the human condition, touching upon guilt, self-punishment and the need for redemption.There's little more to say except that, Biutiful and Shutter Island notwithstanding, The Illusionist has the year's most heartbreaking ending. The ending, after an hour of humour and human sentiments, is a punch in the gut, a relentless attack on the wonder and imagination that make our lives more bearable. I withstood the hopeless bleakness of Biutiful, I sympathised with DiCaprio's need to punish himself in Shutter Island. But how can one cope with a movie that, hiding behind an innocent old-fashioned animation style, contains this horrifying conclusion: 'Magicians don't exist.' This is a card Tatischeff writes for Alice in the movie's final moments. A movie – of all things a movie, and animated to boot – saying this is like a cruel joke of vicious cynicism.We all go through life suspecting this may be true, pushing it back into the recesses of our mind like thoughts about death, but when we speak it out loud the world suddenly becomes a dreary and colourless and unbearable place. Who would want to live in a world without magicians? Why live at all? If they don't exist, and I don't mean just magicians in the restricted sense, but all those magicians who invent stories, write books, make movies, all those wonderful entertainers who, in their own way, have something of the old vaudeville and traditional forms of entertainment; if they don't exist, I repeat, if there's no one to make our lives more special and bearable through tricks and illusions then what is life? And what's it good for? Is it just pain and misery, like Biutiful wants us to believe? Although heartbroken Tatischeff may believe that, Sylvain Chomet, a great magician in his own right, proves, with this movie, the opposite. Magicians exist and The Illusionist is one of the most beautiful and elegant magic tricks played on audiences in a long time.