With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
Nicholas Van Orton is a very wealthy San Francisco banker, but he is an absolute loner, even spending his birthday alone. In the year of his 48th birthday (the age his father committed ... See full summary »
Deborah Kara Unger,
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 character Prince Leopold says during a performance of Eisenheim at the palace: "He tries to trick you ... I try to enlighten you. Which is the more noble pursuit?" This reference is to a famous slogan the RJ Reynolds tobacco company used in the 1930's that said "It's fun to be fooled ... it's more fun to know." The slogan was combined with adverts showing the secrets behind famous mysteries. The impetus for this was a tribute to the popularity of the American magician Horace Goldin. See more »
As Eisenheim puts stacks of notes into his leather briefcase at the bank, a silver zipper is visible on the bag. Some early prototype of zippers did exist, but were not in common use well into the 20th century. See more »
woman in audience:
It's her. I know it's her! She wants to tell us something.
See more »
First of all, let me say this was a beautifully-filmed movie, just gorgeous from first to last frame. That gets big points with me. Just as impressive was the story, a fantasy-mystery- romance-drama combination set in Vienna, Austria, around the turn of the 20th century.
It is a story that should keep most viewers intrigued all the way and perhaps surprised quite a bit at the end. Edward Norton does his normal job of making you fascinated with whatever character he's playing, this time a magician with almost supernatural powers: "Herr Eisenheim." The character he plays, and the tone of the movie in general, is pretty low-key with next to nothing in (on screen) violence or profanity.
It's simply a classy film and a modern-day one that older folks would very much enjoy as well as younger adults. Paul Giamatti also is very interesting as the police inspector, torn between his allegiance to the villain crown prince and to the truth and what is the right thing to do. The movie, however, belongs to Norton.
In a nutshell: good stuff, classy film. I haven't talked to anybody yet who watched this and didn't like it.
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