Illusion (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  October 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 330 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 9 critic

A once-powerful, but now ailing movie director nears the end of his life. As he awaits death, he slips into a "dream" and is shown three "snippets" of the movie of his son's life. At first ... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Baines
Ron Marasco ...
Ronald Víctor García ...
Michael Kemmerling ...
Nancy Jeffries ...
Steve Chabon ...


A once-powerful, but now ailing movie director nears the end of his life. As he awaits death, he slips into a "dream" and is shown three "snippets" of the movie of his son's life. At first suspicious, then curious, and ultimately captivated, he watches his son's growth from mid-teens to mid-thirties as the son pursues his life-long love, Isabelle. The two constants through these snippets are his pursuit of Isabelle and the imagined voice of his father, telling him that he is worthless and unwanted. It is not until the story reaches its conclusion, that the old man discovers the surprising truth about his son and himself. Written by wingsong919

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The only person who could change the story of his life...was the father he never knew.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence


Official Sites:



Release Date:

October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Ilusion  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Goorjian spent about six and a half years of his life working on this film. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: The story doesn't end when you get here, like you think it might. All the mortal pieces have scattered, but the impressions remain. Every last one of them.
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User Reviews

Yes, it's a terrific film... and may be Kirk Douglas' last one
14 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Are the highlights of our lives inscribed in a great "Book of Life?" What kind of impact do our actions (and inactions) have on others' lives? Can we redeem the past with good works in the present? Can a movie that takes on these deep questions be captivating, entertaining and inspiring … all at once? In his new film, Illusion, director/writer/co-star Michael Goorjian answers these questions with an emphatic yes! Illusion is a love story pairing Christopher Baines (Goorjian) with Isabelle (Karen Tucker) in a dance of thwarted intentions. But it's Christopher's father, Donald, played by the legendary Kirk Douglas in a luminous performance, who may hold the key to their future. Donald, on his deathbed, regrets having forgone love in his life for the sake of his career, his biggest regret being the abandonment of Christopher, his illegitimate son, 30 years earlier. With some "magical" help from Stan (Ron Marasco), a long- deceased favorite film editor, Donald is shown three films -- three visions -- each representing a different period of Christopher's life, each reflecting the impact of his abandonment. In a romantic homage to Capra's classic It's A Wonderful Life, Goorjian masterfully leads us through the yearnings, the dangers and pathos, and the possibilities for redemption that we all face. This is terrific storytelling, a drama of life, love and death, with a tone and texture that lead us all to question, how real and immutable is this life we lead, and how much of it is just a fable, a dream, an Illusion? A treat for heart and soul.

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