Saturday, January 29, 2011

"The Illusionist"

French actor Jacques Tati wrote the screenplay for this animated film, with the intention of doing it as a live action film.  Roger Ebert argues that it is much more effective as an animated film, and I would have to agree with him.  It tells the story of a magician whose career is in rapid decline because audiences are no longer interested in illusionism.  A young Scottish woman is enchanted by the magician's art, and attaches herself to him.  Although their relationship is chaste, the magician does whatever is necessary to provide her with the material possessions she desires.  She eventually is attracted to a younger, more appropriate man.  Ebert's review reveals an interesting personal story relating to the screenplay.  The animation, most of it hand-drawn, is beautiful and I highly recommend it.

My rating:  ****

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