Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5  
The Illusionist (2007)
PGContains infrequent moderate violence, mild sex and language

video  WATCH: Edward Norton on The Illusionist

Flanked by policemen, Eisenheim the magician (Edward Norton) is frogmarched from the stage, leaving his rapt Austrian audience in a Viennese whirl. It's the beginning of The Illusionist, but also the end, as this textured period mystery unravels in flashback. Eisenheim is Vienna's biggest star, a master conjuror whose tricks have outraged the crown prince (Rufus Sewell). But what's it all about? A girl, of course.

It's Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti), the prince's lackey and Eisenheim's arresting officer, who tells the magician's life story. The son of a humble carpenter, the young magician caused a scandal by falling in puppy love with the local royalty, Duchess von Teschen (Jessica Biel). Yes, his dad was in cabinets and her dad was in the Cabinet - it could never be. So for 15 years Eisenheim travels the world, perfecting his art and forgetting the girl. Until he arrives in Vienna and the crown prince volunteers his beautiful fiancée (you guessed it) to join the smouldering sorcerer on stage. A twisting intrigue unravels as Eisenheim plots to get the girl and win one for the working classes.


Norton's trademark intensity is perfectly suited to the enigmatic character of Eisenheim. He defies understanding as much as his impressive tricks. And as befits the subject, The Illusionist looks wonderful. Director Neil Burger captures every scene in an evocative daguerreotype tone. Not everyone will be taken in by the plot's final twist, but even if you guess how Eisenheim does it, you'll be won over by his showmanship.

video  WATCH: Edward Norton on The Illusionist

The Illusionist is released in UK cinemas on Friday 2nd March 2007.

End Credits

Director: Neil Burger

Writer: Neil Burger

Stars: Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Marsan, Jake Wood

Genre: Fantasy, Drama

Length: 109 minutes

Cinema: 02 March 2007

Country: USA

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