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.
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
Edward Norton did many of his own magic tricks, with the coaching of James Freedman. He worked with Norton preparing him for his stage performances and acted as a hand double in numerous situations. See more »
You can see Eisenheim's shadow at 1:28:35, but he is supposedly an illusion. At 1:29:03, when he is standing, his shadow is gone. 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 very entertaining movie. The beginning of the movie sets an awesome foundation for the rest of the film to work with, without making the rest of the movie predictable and pointless. Although the basic story of boy gets girl, boy loses girl may not be original, the way the plot is presented with the excellent magical imagery keeps one interested in Edward Norton's character. My only complaint would be that the movie needs a little editing towards the end as the creators seem to show basically the same scene over and over in an attempt to drive home Norton's character's emotional distress. Unfortunately, this gets a little monotonous for viewers. Still, Norton, Sewell, Giamatti (and surprisingly Biel) provide excellent performances that, along with the beautiful cinematography, make a great movie.
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