The Illusionist (L'illusionniste) Reviews
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.
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