Make Believe (2011)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
A coming of age journey set in the quirky subculture of magic, "Make Believe" follows six of the world's best young magicians as they pursue the title of Teen World Champion and take us on their personal journeys of transformation through magic. The film travels from back rooms of the world famous Magic Castle in the Hollywood Hills to the most important international magic competition, the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas, as the teens face the mounting pressure to win the competition and move to the next stages of their careers. Director J. Clay Tweel follows six adolescent outsiders who all share an extraordinary passion: the art of magic. We meet Krystyn Lambert, a member of the Magic Castle, a classic beauty who hails from Malibu and seems to have it all but she just doesn't fit in; Bill Koch, a 19 year old from Chicago who has no time for second best and has one last shot to win the title before he ages out; Hiroki Hara, who lives in a remote Japanese village where he practices magic 8 hours a day and dreams of performing around the world; Derek McKee, the youngest, a very serious 14 year old from Colorado who has found the one skill he has that makes people take notice is magic; and Siphiwe Fangase and Nkumbozo Nkonyana from Capetown, South Africa whose energy and excitement for the art is contagious to all. Along the way, "Make Believe" incorporates interviews with Neil Patrick Harris, Lance Burton and several magicians who share these teens passion. --(c) Laemmle … More
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Critic Reviews for Make Believe
I would have liked to see more tricks and fewer parental interviews, but in any case, this is a reasonably appealing documentary for anyone with a special interest in the subject.
The various sleights of hand are impressive even if we're afforded little insight into their actual execution. Still, it's fun stuff.
The young people seen here never seem artificial; you feel their passion for doing magic, as well as their nagging loneliness, devoted as they are to practicing card tricks and such for hours on end, while their peers are off doing what most teenagers do.
This tension between self-expression and professional advancement is fascinating material, but first-time director-editor J. Clay Tweel avoids the nuance that might have brought it to life.
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