With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
In late nineteenth century Vienna, renowned illusionist Eisenheim is reunited with the Duchess von Teschen when she is volunteered from the audience to participate in an illusion during one of his performances. Despite having not seen each other in fifteen years when they were teenagers, they almost immediately recognize each other as Eduard Abramovich and Sophie von Teschen, they who had a doomed romance at that time due to their class differences. The Duchess is soon to be wed to the Crown Prince Leopold in what would be for him a marriage solely in pursuit of power: overthrowing his father, the Emperor Leopold, as well as overtaking the Hungarian side of the empire. The Crown Prince is known to use violence against women if it suits his needs or purposes. As such, the Duchess, who realizes that she still loves Eisenheim and he her, can never leave the Crown Prince without it jeopardizing her life. After Eisenheim humiliates the Crown Prince at a private show which results in an ... Written by
I just saw this wonderful film at the San Francisco Film Festival as a surprise entry. Beautifully shot and realized, it keeps you guessing until the end as to the true outcome. It was throughly entertaining and innovative. This movie has it all: romance, suspense, star crossed lovers and supernatural illusions. Edward Norton is perfectly cast as Eisenheim The Illusionist. His accent flowed seamlessly and he simply disappeared into the role. The real revelation to me was none other than Paul Giamatti. Paul's richly accented role was not altogether unlike Tommy Lee Jones' role in The Fugitive. I found his scenes with Norton full of respect and begrudging admiration. It was an absolute joy to see these two pros at work. I will definitely be paying to see this one again when it's released theatrically.
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