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 cafes. 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 donthusiasm for his act, The Illusionist rewards Alice with increasingly lavish gifts he has 'conjured' into existence. Desperate not to disappoint her, he cannot bring himself to reveal that magic does not exist and that he pretend. Untangled from his own web of deceit, he resumes his life as a much wiser man.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
What (director Neil) Burger and his colleagues have done is to entrance us with a richly acted, beautifully produced story.Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic, 06.24.2010
Conjures up a world of mystery, romance and suspense.Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, 06.24.2010
The story may be less than credible, but the performances are mostly good, and Giamatti makes an especially strong showing.Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News, 06.24.2010
Never quite the sum of its parts, this would-be intelligent thriller coasts by on strong supporting performances from Giamatti, Sewell and Biel.Jamie Russell, Film4, 06.24.2010