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Home » Culture and Criticism

The Illusionist

Submitted by on February 15, 2011 – 8:54 AM4 Comments

Sarah 30, Death Race 26; 14 of 24 categories completed

I sobbed through the last five minutes of The Illusionist. The word "melancholy" features prominently in nearly every review I've read of the movie, but something about the combination of the score, the grumpy rabbit checking out the hill above Edinburgh, and the note he leaves her at the end took me to Niagara Falls.

I really liked it, but the relationship between the illusionist and his…"roommate"? It's a bit confusing, which is not a bad thing in and of itself; reading more about the real-life backstory in the reviews clarified matters somewhat, but that shouldn't have been necessary; I didn't know quite how to feel about her, and about him as a result. Is she childlike, or just greedy? What note had she planned to leave?

Maybe it's better that I don't know. It's beautifully done, and the soundtrack will kill you; I liked The Triplets of Belleville, but didn't think it quite lived up to its reputation, and I like this one more. I don't see it winning its category, but it's so different in look and tone from the other two entrants in Best Animated Feature that it's hard for me to compare them.

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  • Kristina says:

    I thought this was a gorgeous movie (his boat ride to Scotland? I want to print the whole thing out and frame it and hang it over my bed), but melancholy was right. Him leaving the rabbit at the end just killed me, and between that, the dog on wheels hanging out with the homeless alcoholic ex-ventriloquist? Sweet christ in a crop top, it was all just too French to function.

    And I couldn't help but hate his "roommate", but then again I take a very ill view of cheaters. (Which, I know, that was definitely a weird relationship, with what seemed like absolutely no rules, but still. He bought her a really nice pair of shoes! Like two pair!)

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Omg, that bun! If they hadn't shown the other buns coming out to greet him I don't think I could have made it to the end. I forgot that all French movies make you want to kill yourself at some point.

    And the part on the train, where he's tempted to "magic" the long pencil for the little girl, but instead does the short one, because as he wrote in his note, "magicians do not exist." He's done trying to convince daughter substitutes he can pull a new life from thin air. SOB!

  • jane says:

    I didn't see the movie, but I'm glad I read this because I've now discovered my new favorite phrase, and that's "sweet Christ in a crop top". Day = MADE.

  • DuchessKitty says:

    Saw this beautifully done, yet thoroughly depressing film yesterday with my best friend and his 10 yr old nephew. As we were leaving the theater the 10 yr old said quietly, almost under his breath, "gosh what a mean, ungrateful lady". Yes, totally! I couldn't get over how greedy and self-entitled Alice was; are we supposed to feel happy for her at the end with her young man? Uggh.

    But overall I'm really glad I went to see this in the theater. I too liked it more than "Belleville".

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