With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access one hundred 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 »
When police officers 'offer a drink' to Eisenheim, on the building in the background is a lightning rod of modern design. See more »
woman in audience:
It's her. I know it's her! She wants to tell us something.
See more »
If this were a beer it'd be called Prestige Light.
THE ILLUSIONIST 2006 (EDWARD NORTON, JESSICA BIEL, PAUL GIAMIATTI) DIRECTED BY: NEIL BURGER ~ THE RUNDOWN: A well acted, nicely polished piece of entertainment, but made with little passion and little drama. ~ It's hard to say exactly what this movie's missing; the performances are fun to watch, especially that freaky Rufus Sewell guy, and, as always, Edward Norton is amazing as well as Giamatti; it is entertaining in an old-fashioned, mystery type of way; and it's beautifully shot, but I think that's part of the problem - it's too beautiful...too old-fashioned...too much like a movie that tries too hard to impress us with its image and not engage us enough with its story. To compare it with 2006's The Prestige, a film about the same subject, the Prestige simply crushes the Illusionist when it comes to "movie magic", relying very little on CGI and reaching our hearts through an amazing script about humanity...the strive for success, the need to be loved and at the same time showing us how magic really exists in our modern world. The Illusionist, on the other hand, is simply more superficial in nature and would work better as like a thirty-minute TV show. The big twist at the end would be very satisfying for avid TV watchers just after a commercial break, but, seriously, when your making a movie around it you shouldn't just have the viewer sit and wait with little to no hints just to fill up time and then hit them with it and expect a big hooray. ~ Overall, this actually is worth watching because it is indeed entertaining, well acted and interesting, but don't feel bad either if you decide to skip it.
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