A young man is plunged into a life of subterfuge, deceit and mistaken identity in pursuit of a femme fatale whose heart is never quite within his grasp. Remake of François Truffaut's 1969 film 'Mississippi Mermaid'
Mike Church is a Los Angeles private detective who specializes in finding missing persons. He takes on the case of a mystery woman who he calls Grace. She is suffering from amnesia and has ... See full summary »
In late nineteenth century Vienna, renowned illusionist Eisenheim is reunited with the Duchess von Teschen when she is volunteered from the audience to participate in an illusion during one of his performances. Despite having not seen each other in fifteen years when they were teenagers, they almost immediately recognize each other as Eduard Abramovich and Sophie von Teschen, they who had a doomed romance at that time due to their class differences. The Duchess is soon to be wed to the Crown Prince Leopold in what would be for him a marriage solely in pursuit of power: overthrowing his father, the Emperor Leopold, as well as overtaking the Hungarian side of the empire. The Crown Prince is known to use violence against women if it suits his needs or purposes. As such, the Duchess, who realizes that she still loves Eisenheim and he her, can never leave the Crown Prince without it jeopardizing her life. After Eisenheim humiliates the Crown Prince at a private show which results in an ... Written by
The method for creating the ghosts as shown to inspector Uhl involved the projection of a pre-recorded image into a hazy background. Since the ghosts Eisenheim conjured could speak to and interact with the audience, he most likely used a different method popular among magicians at that time. A fantascope was used to illuminate a real person off stage. The image was reflected off of a mirror or glassplate, creating a ghosted image. The lanterns that Eisenheim tells his assistants to leave behind when they are packing up the workshop bear a strong resemblance to fantascopes. See more »
When Inspector Uhl finds Leopold to tell him of Sophie and Eisenheim's relationship, Leopold asks "What where they doing? Touching? Kissing? Fornicating?" His face is only shown when he says "fornicating", but he mouths a completely different word. (see Trivia) See more »
woman in audience:
It's her. I know it's her! She wants to tell us something.
See more »
The Illusionist is a good looking film set in Vienna in the nineteenth century. There's plenty of romanticism, empiricism, and mysticism to ponder over as you try to keep awake with the plot about a magician, no an illusionist, who's trapped by his class, born the son of a carpenter, and can't have the woman he really loves, a duchess, who's equally trapped in her royal status. Not to sell the film short, the story includes a career police officer who's pushed and pulled by a cruel crown prince who promises to make him mayor of Vienna in exchange for his complicity. Their relationship is the film's most interestingly done facet, especially as the police officer noses around into a murder that brings him closer to Mr. Crown Prince. The film's best scene is when the Crown Prince is hunting on his estate and fires off his shotgun, bringing to an abrupt end the talk he was having with the police officer. In the end, it's a meticulous recreation of a time, which isn't nearly matched by a meticulous presentation of a story.
13 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?