The Illusionist (L'illusionniste) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Illusionist (L'illusionniste) Reviews

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½ December 23, 2016
I like this type of old-school animations that really tell a story with a striking sentimentalism. It was slow and uneventful but without much speaking, it sure does justice to the story.
April 4, 2016
It's strange, I was surprised yet not surprised that the story was written by the late, great,Jacque Tati. It has the Jacque Tati film feel and yet it's a lot more dramatic than his films. Sylvain Chomet still creates the Tati charm in this animated visual beautiful film.
½ March 3, 2016
With beautiful hand-drawn animation and understandably sad context, this gives a new meaning of magic by showing how a beloved past career can be illuminated by just the right touches, even if it's a bit washed out.
February 16, 2016
Until a few days ago, I had never heard of Jacques Tati. Through a group of friends I was introduced to some clips of his early b&w work, and went searching on youtube for more. Which led me to this diamond.
Tati never actually made this film. He wrote a script for the story. After his death, the script found its way to Chomet's hands. Where it lay, undisturbed, for a few more years, until Chomet finally made this masterwork.
The animation is 2-D, classic, and magnificent. The scenes, in general, are evocative of their real counterparts. Especially the scenes of Scotland. One feels that you could walk on the same ground the animator protrays. And you possibly could, as Chomet intentionally used real locations as the source material for the animations.
The film feels as if it were a strictly accurate remake of one of Tati's films of the period. It is set in that time, between the 30's and the 50's, when electricity was new to many rural areas. Like the Herriot books, this film captures something of that transitional time. Unlike Herriot, Tati's plot pictures some of the tragedy those changes created. Perhaps somewhat unintentionally, the film is something of a philosophic pondering of the impacts of the changes those years saw.
The one dissonance I found in the story was that the time appeared to be telescoped, with the band characters looking like something out of the 1950's, with presaging elements of more recent musical artists. Unless rural electrification was still ongoing in the 1950's for Europe. Also, at one point in the film, there is a news headline on a street stand "Is It War?", which would indicate a pre-WW2 timing. Still this is a minor quibble, and adds nicely to the overall telling of the story.
Perhaps it is the wrenching of that passage of times, but I ultimately found the film to be tragic. Others will see the film as romantic, but it is bittersweet. The comedic line is always there, as well, for us to laugh and enjoy. It is a beautiful, enchanting tale.
½ January 21, 2016
This movie kills me (in the best way). So beautiful and so heartbreaking.
½ December 20, 2015
One of the most moving films I've ever seen.
December 16, 2015
It is a very quaint movie, and although I love animated movies of this genre, this failed to captivate me.
September 9, 2015
A animated Jacques Tati! Which captures the spirit of Tati's work... Even though the movies visually interesting. This story would've looked better live action so this felt more of a tribute to Tati's work. But its very weak in story as its light and has charm. But charm and light nature are pushed a little extreme making it lose some warmth. Not to say its a bad film I just won't see myself returning to it...
Plus theres this scene where it litterly shows Mon Oncle not as something cute in the background but go all out to make it known. It was a little bit annoying
½ July 12, 2015
Not really my style of animation, but without any dialogue it communicates everything with emotion.
½ June 25, 2015
While I don't believe I enjoyed it as much as "The Triplets of Belleville," "The Illusionist" is just as stylishly animated and emotionally moving.
June 21, 2015
Mejor terminen el día del padre viendo esto... y lloren :v
June 18, 2015
While people generally head for Triplets of Belleville when Sylvain Chomet is mentioned, this to me is his masterpiece. Almost no dialogue, a simple yet detailed story, incredibly vivid animation, and characters that I want so badly to be real. One of the best out there.
April 9, 2015
Don't blame that girl.Girls are always attracted by magician.
March 28, 2015
As much as hand-drawn animation is being supplanted by computer animation, there are still artists who know the power of the art form and give us beautiful images that go along with great stories. Sylvain Chomet (LES TRIPLETTES DE BELLEVILLE) has done just that with THE ILLUSIONIST (aka L'ILLUSIONNISTE, and not to be confused with the 2006 Edward Norton film). The story is rather simple. It is about an out-of-work French magician/illusionist who goes to Scotland and meets this young woman who is convinced that his "magic" is real. Over the course of the film, you see a friendship develop between them as his livelihood becomes less viable as a means of support and she comes into her own as a woman. Aiming for subtlety, there is hardly any dialogue (intelligible dialogue, at least) and the images are the primary driver of the story. It's also quite touching and heartfelt. You really feel for this aging man who sees the life he's built for himself as a magician grow smaller and smaller as people now go to the music halls to see rock bands instead of illusionists, ventriloquists and clowns. By the same token, the woman has to discover that the "magic" isn't what it appears to be and, in a sense, grow up. From a technical standpoint, the animation was just beautiful and a sight to behold. Sylvain Chomet has a very distinctive, impressionistic approach to character design that makes each frame look like it could be a watercolor painting. Also worth mentioning is that the film is based on an unpublished script by Jacques Tati. Although I've yet to see anything by him, the comedic sensibility on display here makes me want to do so really soon. When all is said and done, THE ILLUSIONIST is a mature, wonderfully animated film with plenty of humor and heart that every animation fan should see.
February 12, 2015
A must-see for anyone who's ever given up on their dreams.
½ January 24, 2015
Gentle, yet compelling.
½ January 8, 2015
A beautifully animated French film that's a tale of how a magician (as well as other entertainers) struggled during the rise of technology. Sometimes funny and sweet, this film's major weakness is it's slow pacing which causes for a boring storyline.
½ January 3, 2015
Very slow yet it's a classic.
½ December 25, 2014
The Illusionist is a beautiful and moving animated film that harkens back to the era of silent movies. Although it's not silent film, it is often very quiet, and what little dialogue exists is not necessary to understand what's happening onscreen. It's gentleness has a tendency to turn to melancholy, but the movie throws in enough eccentric periphery characters and other minor delights to maintain a warm feeling throughout. Plus the ending is absolutely incredible and satisfying. Recommended.
½ December 22, 2014
Rating: 9.4/10 One thing is for sure, this is not your average animated movie. By far one of the most mature and well-thought out films of its kind, as well as one of the best animated films I've ever seen, in terms of story, characters, dialogue, artwork, and animation. Although at times it felt about 15 minutes too long, it is difficult to identify a scene that should have been either removed or shortened, for all of it seems important to tell its complete story. I can say from the bottom of my heart, that the best and most powerful part (scene) in the movie, is the ending, or the last 10 minutes of it. I'm not going to say what happened. All I could say is that it will hit your heart with a blow that will leave you in tears of sadness and at the same time, relief. I feel that The Illusionist has been overlooked, despite the ratings, and deserves more respect in what it had tried so hard to achieve. This, is truly a work of art.
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