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

The Illusionist (L'illusionniste) Reviews

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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 Also worth mentioning is that the film is based on an unpublished script by Jacques Tati.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.
October 25, 2014
Storytelling for the introverts :D
October 21, 2014
Sad commentary on the lost arts.
October 14, 2014
Should've won "Best Animated Feature".
½ October 12, 2014
Moody, yet beautiful.
September 23, 2014
A clever light animated feature that was based on a story written by Comedy Master Jacques Tati himself.

The story of aged & on the downhill illusionist performer & his unlikely friendship with Parisian Street Girl.

Like most Tati films this is filled with hardly any dialogue & Subtle beautiful imagery...a must see for Tati fans.
½ September 18, 2014
Gorgeously animated and extremely (occasionally uncomfortably) pensive.
September 17, 2014
9/15/14 It is an interesting film, with almost no dialogue. Short at only about 80 minutes, it is interesting seeing the interaction between characters without saying anything. To be honest, I was tired and nodding off a little bit, but I still enjoyed it.
September 3, 2014
Small, delightful, elegant, in an old-fashioned style about a world which does not exist, it is sad to say, however, that not contains much story to keep you attached to the screen. However, the effort deserves that a 2.5 stars-movie becomes a 3 stars, just by trying to refresh the old elegance of the past.
½ August 30, 2014
Just cute and beautifully drawn.
½ August 28, 2014
Worthless, just sad, and a waste of time, nothing more, don't watch it.
August 24, 2014
The French animated film may not provide English subtitles that's rarely spoken, it only needs the meaning of the story to understand when the good animation tells the story with a purpose of being told, making this a little good-hearted film to enjoy, with a little bit of magic. (B-)

(Full review coming soon)
August 8, 2014
Poetic, funny, beautiful, moving and wonderful, that goes straight to the mind and heart of the viewer, animated and written in an extraordinary way. A story of a father's love, set in a time where artists are treated as varieties of old fossils and replaced by singers of rock 'n' roll, describing it in a poignant and melancholy. A great movie.
½ July 21, 2014
I wanted to punch myself in the face for much of the run-time of the 3 Jacques Tati films I watched a few years ago, so this was sort of a painful reminder, but it is boosted at times by a slightly less whimsical atmosphere. Then it starts getting super-depressing when, say, the spooky-clown is attempting to hang himself.
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