The Illusionist (L'illusionniste)
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The Illusionist is one of a dying breed of stage entertainers. With emerging rock stars stealing his thunder in the late 1950s, he is forced to accept increasingly obscure assignments in fringe theatres, at garden parties and in bars and cafés. Then, while performing in a village pub off the west coast of Scotland, he encounters Alice, an innocent young girl, who will change his life forever. Watching his performance for the excited villagers who are celebrating the arrival of electricity on their remote island, Alice is awestruck by his show and believes his tricks are real magic. Though they… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film ends on a note of graceful, heartbreaking beauty that Tati would have admired for its lack of sentimentality. A lot of what precedes that ending, though, is precious and slight and a little too fanciful."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"The story has enough sentimental schmaltz to grease a locomotive."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"An 80-minute, hand-drawn animated French film without dialogue and with one of the most depressing finale acts ever committed to celluloid: this is The Illusionist. It's also some sort of divine masterpiece."
‑ Glenn Dunks, Trespass
"Hand drawn animation that is as soft and charming as the film itself."
‑ Roger Moore, Movie Nation
"Funny, sweet, nostalgic and ultimately heartbreaking."
‑ Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy
"This is a remarkable movie: lovely, slow-paced and almost silent, rich with pathos and deft comic gestures."
‑ Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle
"A lovely appreciation of Tati and a loving, bittersweet look at the end of the 1950s, before entertainers like the magician of the title were displaced by rock bands and other more visceral acts."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"There's plenty of crack-a-smile humor, but the underlying mood recalls the diminuendo stretches in a Jacques Tati film."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment Magazine
"Director Sylvain Chomet manages to rouse a lot of smirks and smiles through the small nuance and inferences that were Tati's signature."
‑ Jim Schembri, The Age (Australia)
"Chomet makes good use of incidental showbiz characters, acrobats and ventriloquist in particular. He also includes some spectacular sweeps of urban scapes, revelling in the mastery of his craft"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"The Illusionistis magical in more ways than one."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"A French import that's long on grace notes and wry humor, it eschews flash and opts for heart to great effect."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"Pictures speak louder than words, and what 'The Illusionist' speaks loudest about is the notion that what we do for a living is not nearly as important as how we choose to do our living."
‑ Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger
"Whilst they hardly say a word, I felt much sorrow for these two lonely characters and the changing world in which they find themselves."
‑ Matthew Toomey, ABC Radio Brisbane
"The exquisite illustrative signature style of Sylvain Chomet leaves a haunting impression in this whimsical tale about an illusionist who delights a young girl with magic"
‑ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
More reviews for The Illusionist (L'illusionniste) on Rotten Tomatoes

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