Tricky
The Illusionist
Review by Ross Anthony

As always a strong performance by Edward Norton. But just as importantly, and an interesting role for him, Paul Giamatti plays the chief police with a strong heart and expression and a fancy for magic. Rufus Sewell always makes a great bad guy and Jessica Biel has looks worth fighting for as the lady in waiting so to speak.

An odd film actually with an old world sensibility. Nice dialogue and a decent enough script. It’s only major failing is that I caught on a little too soon to a rather important illusion. But that’s just me. I see too many movies. You’ll probably be tickled just fine.

Add to that, there is one other failing… Philip Glass’s needling score. I have great respect for Mr. Glass – but this score needled me to death! Needle Needle Needle. And then it reprises the same Needle – over and over again. Perhaps that’s why they call it needling.

Ethically speaking, that ending did leave me wondering a bit the morality of what had just transpired. If you rethink the behavior of all involved vs. merely what was said – one could ask, who really is the bad guy?

This is quite nearly an A- film, but the combination of my noticing the scripting sleight of hand and the needling score will slide it a small way back to the B+.

This film screened at a Krikorian Theatre.

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  • The Illusionist. Copyright © 2006.
  • Starring Edward Nortonm, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell. Eddie Marsan.
  • Directed by Neil Burger.
  • Screenplay by Neil Burger. Based on a story by Steven Millhause.
  • Produced by Michael London, Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Bob Yari, Cathy Schulman at Contagious/Bulls Eye.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Sunday, 22-Oct-2006 15:29:03 PDT