The Illusionist

(2010)

Genres: Animation

Review: The Illusionist

Transcript for Review: The Illusionist

CHRISTY LEMIRE: 
Our next movie is the small animated gem THE ILLUSIONIST.  This is the latest film from French director Sylvain Chomet, who was nominated for an Oscar for best animated feature for "The Triplets of Belleville". "The Illusionist" is based on an old script from the late Jacques Tati about an aging French magician trying to stay relevant in an ever modernizing world.

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CHRISTY: 
As he travels to Edinburgh, a young girl from one of the small towns of Scotland runs away with him in hopes of seeing the world.  He becomes a father figure to her and as he regains his confidence as an artist, she blossoms into a young woman.

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CHRISTY: 
With it's hand-drawn animation, "The Illusionist" is gorgeous and delicate so beautifully detailed and achingly sweet in just the smallest gestures.  There's virtually no dialogue, maybe a few mumblings here and there in English and French, yet it conveys so much emotion.  It might be hard to find, but it's worth looking for.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY: 
It is worth looking for. I like this film quite a bit as well, and I'm quite surprised it's not getting a larger release.  I feel people who would like a Pixar movie would probably like this as well, even though it's a different animation style, it's a very similar approach as to how one makes an animated film.

CHRISTY: 
And some of the themes, I think, in terms of the nostalgia that a lot of Pixar film comes up with.  It definitely exists all over the place here.

IGNATIY: 
And also the interest in childhood and aging I think are kind of what most people think of as Pixar themes.

CHRISTY: 
Yeah, I think it's a very timeless thing.   It takes place a while ago, but it’s all very relevant now in terms of trying to find out who you are as you age, and you can look at it from a little girl's perspective as well, and the way they connect with each other in such easy ways and yet such quiet ways is always believable.  I mean, it's not creepy ever.  It could, in theory, be creepy and it's not and they have a lot of fun with each other and they have some epiphanies and I always, I always believed it.

IGNATIY: 
It’s a gorgeously animated film.  It’s some really beautiful hand drawn animation.  One thing I like about it, it takes advantage of the kind of movement that you can only get in traditional cell animation, that you can't really get in 3D or CGI animation.

CHRISTY: 
Yeah, I agree.  And it’s very Tati-ish in the movements, because they are subtle, but there's a lot of little tiny comedy that you have to watch for and pay attention to.

IGNATIY: 
There's a lot of things sometimes going on, and I remember the first time you see backstage --  it's a very Tati moment.  So: good tribute to a good filmmaker, but also a good film on its own.

CHRISTY: 
There you go.