The Illusionist

Rated PG-13 110 minutes 2011

Set in Vienna — the city of Sigmund Freud — in the late 1890s, Neil Burger's eerie and sumptuous melodrama (from a Steven Millhauser short story) is an intriguing meditation on the seductions of power and the power of magic. Edward Norton, who always gives off a mysterious vibe, stars as a gifted stage illusionist called Eisenheim, whose most crucial feat is bringing back from the dead the woman he loves. Philip Glass' adventurous score enriches the dark mood, and fine performances -- by Jessica Biel as Eisenheim's lost love, Paul Giammati as the skeptical police inspector who serves as our narrator and guide, and Rufus Sewell as an arrogant crown prince -- serve well this resolutely old-fashioned period piece. The great sleight-of-hand artist and historian of magic Ricky Jay served as consultant.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.theillusionist.com

Director: Neil Burger

Writer: Neil Burger

Producer: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Michael London, Cathy Schulman and Bob Yari

Cast: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Marsan, Jake Wood, Tom Fisher, Karl Johnson, Aaron Johnson and Eleanor Tomlinson

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The Illusionist

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