Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: The Illusionist

The Illusionist
Number of Nominations: 1
Categories: Best Animated Feature
Availability in US: In Theatres (Click for Showtimes)
Trailer: Click for Trailer
From the director of one of the most unusual and entertaining animated features of all time, The Triplets of Belleville, comes this very unusual but interesting and emotional film, L'illusionniste. The film follows a French illusionist who travels to Scotland and befriends a young woman, changing both their lives in unexpected ways. Director Sylvain Chomet adapted an unproduced screenplay written in the 1950s by French actor/director Jacques Tati, and the film's title character is an animated version of Tati. The visual style of the film is classic hand-drawn animation, and 1950's Scotland is shown in beautiful detail. The film is funny and yet full of heart. Unfortunately one cannot help comparing it to Chomet's earlier film, and it suffers for this comparison. Fans of The Triplets of Belleville will find little similarity to this film, the exception being the very caricaturish style in which some of the film's inhabitants are portrayed. Where Belleville used visual caricature as its main tool, The Illusionist tends more towards behavioral caricature. Still, the technique is effective and entertaining. All of this is important, because fans of animated cinema will want to see this as soon as it's available in their region, but none of it matters for Oscar night, as Toy Story 3 still has a lock on the Animated Feature category.
Grade: A-

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