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Thursday, February 10, 2011

[7.75/10] L'illusionniste a.k.a. The The Illusionist (2010)



The Illusionist (2010)

Brief review:
Sylvain Chomet, the creator of "The Triplets of Belleville", brings this gem of an animation, that revolves around an aging French illusionist, who finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever. This animated feature certainly deserves its Oscar nomination, as it tells a unique and very unusual story, filled with unpredictability, many heartfelt moments and engaging characters. Plus, it's the perfect example of how a good story can be told with almost no words. Having said that, the film suffers from a downbeat narrative and sluggish pacing, but that's compensated by the many quirky, yet likable characters that appear throughout The relationship between the Illusionist and the little Alice, in particular, is so sincere and heart-warming, it may bring you to tears. Since "The Illusionist" is all about visual storytelling, it relies heavily on its imagery, and in this area, the film is a true work of art. The picturesque hand-drawn animation is nothing short of dazzling and extremely detailed, if quit similar to the director's previous work. The beautiful musical score written by Chomet himself suits the melancholic mood of the film quite perfectly.

Overall summary: With its deeply touching story, charming characters and absolutely breathtaking visuals, "The Illusionist" is, hands down, one of the best animated films of 2011.


Jaccstev said...

Hmmm..This sounds interesting. Never saw a pure hand draw animation in quite a long time.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Jaccsy, if you liked "The Triplets of Belleville", you're gonna love this one as well. It's quite beautiful.. in a French sort of way :)

Jaccstev said...

Haven't seen The Triplets of Belleville either. Actually, I never watched any French animation before :) But I really like to watch these two sometime.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Both are slightly pretentious and not for everyone, so be prepared :)

Unknown said...

It wouldn't be French unless it was slightly pretentious. ;) I love hand drawn animation, I feel it showcases a certain aspect of the art that is being lost as everything becomes entirely computer generated. The Triplets of Belleville was marvelous, I haven't seen it so long, I'm going to have to watch it again soon.

filmrruss said...

I preferred The Triplets of Belleville, much more quirky and Tour de France themed which I liked. I actually thought the relationship between the Illusionist and Alice was a bit odd, and found it uncomfortable at times, which detracted from the otherwise wonderful feeling of the film. Having said that I would recommend the film to anyone.

I should also say that the depiction of Edinburgh is spot-on. It's not just that they plonked a few landmarks in there, it actually IS Edinburgh. From Victoria st to the Grassmarket, North Bridge and the Scotsman Hotel, they're all exactly where they should be.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Ah, Mel, you're so right, it wouldn't.
I love hand-drawn animation too, and I thoroughly enjoyed "The Triplets of Belleville". This one was almost on par.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Russ, I did too. And yes, the relationship was odd, but in a good way. He treated her like his own daughter and gave her all she never hadn't. It was so sweet and heartfelt.
I've never been to Edinburgh, but I totally believe, the one in the movie looks 100% like the real Edinburgh.