Maria went to see The Illusionist and came back raving about it, so she talked me into it, even when this corset movie(*) has everything I don’t like: voiceovers, actors with fake Austrian accents, and an evil guy in full Student Prince regalia.
And I loved every moment of it.
I won’t give away the plot because it’s definitely a plot-driven film, but it involves star-crossed lovers, a man of integrity, and a police investigation. Filmed in beautiful locations in the Czech Republic, it showcases spectacular production values, from the sepia-tone photography to the seamless editing, the costumes, and the haunting score by Phillip Glass.
Edward Norton and Jessica Biel are the most beautiful couple to hit the screen since Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. I hasten to clarify that while the movie is Romantic and romantic, it’s not a chick-flick. It is rated PG-13 for a beautiful love scene and some minor violence. You’ll want to see it again to catch the details you missed the first time.
If the Academy members decide to show some taste Edward Norton should get a Best Actor Oscar for this film. His mysterious Eisenheim conveys love and yearning, purpose, cunning, and sex appeal, proving that he is, indeed the master Illusionist.
Favorite scene: the carriage ride.
In brief: This is the most romantic movie to hit the screen in years. Go see it.
(*) corset movie: Faustaspeak for a period piece where women (and sometimes the men) wear corsets.