In the end of the nineteenth century, in London, Robert Angier, his beloved wife Julia McCullough, and Alfred Borden are friends and assistants of a magician. When Julia accidentally dies during a performance, Robert blames Alfred for her death, and they become enemies. Both become famous and rival magicians, sabotaging the performance of the other on the stage. When Alfred performs a successful trick, Robert becomes obsessed trying to disclose the secret of his competitor with tragic consequences.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sam Mendes wanted to do this movie as his follow-up to American Beauty (1999), which had just been nominated for seven Academy Awards. Another offer came from Newmarket Films on behalf of writer, producer, and director Christopher Nolan, of whom author Christopher Priest had never heard. Priest was prepared to close the deal with Mendes when a VHS copy of Nolan's Following (1998) was delivered to his house by motorcycle (Memento (2000) was still in post-production). Priest was impressed, and chose Nolan (in part to also support a new filmmaker over an established one). See more »
When Angier and Cutter discover playing cards attached to the bottom of their pint glasses, the glasses they are drinking from are 'Nonic' glasses. These were designed in the 1960s to protect straight glasses from nicks and cracks when cleaned in automatic dishwashers. See more »
I've seen this film twice now - about a year ago and then yesterday - and thoroughly enjoyed it both times, even the second time when I remembered some of those fantastic twists in the last half hour. Sometimes it's even more fun to view a film like this when you know a few things, because earlier scenes take on new meaning.
It's not an easy film to totally digest, even with two viewings, because that ending has some mind-boggling revelations. Without having to resort to spoilers, let me just say the story is extremely interesting, the acting very good, the period pieces fun to view and it's a pretty clean movie so grandma can also enjoy it, too, without language or sex concerns.
Basically, it's a story about obsession between two magicians in the last decade of the 19th century. They continually try to top one another and things get nasty along the way. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are both fun to watch in those roles, as are Michael Caine and Scarlett Johansson in supporting roles.
This is one movie guaranteed to have you thinking about it when it's over!
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