Monday, September 11, 2006

The Illusionist

The Illusionist (**** Very Good)
was definitely worth a trip to the local multiplex.

I don't remember what else I've seen Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, or Rufus Sewell in.  Of course, Paul Giamatti is memorable for Sideways.  The acting was fine.  Even so, I didn't fall for the illusion, but I'm not sure we were meant to fall for it.

The short story this is based on, "Eisenheim The Illusionist" can be found in S. Millhauser's The Barnum Museum.

The NY Times Summary says:

Even the most diehard rationalist, in his heart of hearts, longs to
believe in magic. That�s why Neil Burger�s film �The Illusionist,�
which tells the story of Eisenheim (Edward Norton), a fictional
conjurer who enraptured Viennese audiences in 1900, rouses your
slumbering belief in the miraculous. This screen adaptation of Steven
Millhauser�s short story, �Eisenheim the Illusionist,� gives Mr. Norton
a role that perfectly fits his disturbing inscrutability. His face,
with obsidian eyes that take in everything but reflect nothing, and a
tight little mouth, is an impenetrable mask of either innocence or
cunning; you�re never sure which. Throughout the movie Eisenheim
remains a man of mystery whose few, carefully chosen words project a
wary, possibly phony omniscience. � Stephen Holden, The New York Times

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