If Sylvain Chomet's 'The Triplets of Belleville' was a rollicking, proudly eccentric adventure, then his follow-up, 'The Illusionist,' is something much more bittersweet, a love letter to silent showmanship and a lament for its obsolescence on both stage and screen. 'The Illusionist' has the distinction of being based upon an unproduced screenplay by Jacques Tati, who played the affably bumbling Monsieur Hulot in several classic comedies, and the illusionist himself (named Tatischeff) is clearly modeled upon that character/filmmaker. (They even encounter one another in an amusing moment of happenstance.)

It's 1959 Paris, and our protagonist's sleight-of-hand tricks can no longer compete with the likes of garish rock-n-rollers, so he takes off for Edinburgh, where he keeps company with other struggling performers and dazzles a young housemaid, Alice, with his sly skills -- a continual illusion for an awe-struck audience of one that Tatischeff cannot maintain for free for much longer...
The Illusionist Movie Poster
The Illusionist
Based on 31 critics

Magic tricks can't compete with rock 'n' roll in the 1950s, so a French illusionist (Jean-Claude Donda)... Read More

categories Reviews, Cinematical