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</script></div>{/googleAds}The Illusionist presents the story of a magician's love affair with a duchess that has been promised to a crown prince in turn-of-the-century Vienna. The cast includes Edward Norton (Fight Club, Red Dragon) as title character Eisenheim, Jessica Biel (7th Heaven, Summer Catch) as love interest Sophie, Rufus Sewell (A Kight's Tale, Tristan & Isolde) as prince Leopold and Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) as the city's chief investigator.

In general, movies ask their audience to suspend belief for the short hours they spend in the viewer's chair. For the most part, when a movie is well made, it does not matter what the content as long as it is able to draw its audience into the world it has created and keep them there for the duration of the story. In this movie there is one major flaw: it cannot hold its audience captive. The words that the actors say, the clothes they wear, even the places they go all seem right but they fail in that one particular way. They fail to be real.

Sadly, the female lead, and virtually only female character, is the worst of it all. Biel's acting comes across as mechanical and lacking true emotions. Maybe it is because she and Norton have no chemistry, or maybe it is because she should stick to fun but flimsy teen movie roles. Also, though it is quite obvious that both Norton and Giamatti are confident in their acting chops, and rightly so, it is hard to take either one too seriously when they are given such clichéd moments to portray. Even Sewell, usually the excellent bad guy, becomes slightly ridiculous toward the end when he rages over his crumbling world.

The idea for this film is ingenious. A sort of displaced Romeo and Juliet, almost the love story of Titanic but with a little magic thrown in could have been a brilliant hit had it been properly executed. Unfortunately, despite the lavish costumes and dreamy camera work, nothing could keep this movie from being just not good.


DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; trailer; making-of featurette; director's commentary.

* Commentary - Feature-length audio commentary featuring director Neil Burger.
* Featurettes -
o "Making Of" featurette 09:00
* Interview - with Jessica Biel

Number of discs: - 1- Keepcase Packaging


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