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Illusionist (2006) - Oscar® Nominee!

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Learn more about Illusionist:

Format: DVD
Sku: 203406891
UPC: 024543402374
UPC 14: 00024543402374
Category Keywords: 20th Century  Fantasy  Magic  Romance  Theatrical Release
Rating: Game Rating Code
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From the Producers of Crash and Sideways.
Unlock the mysteries of the year's most spellbinding film from the producers of Crash and Sideways! Oscar nominees Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton lead an all-star cast in this "stunning" film (USA Today) that conjures an exhilarating blend of suspense, romance and mind-bending twists. The acclaimed illusionist Eisenheim (Norton) has not only captured the imaginations of all of Vienna, but also the interest of the ambitious Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). But when Leopold's new fiance (Jessica Biel) rekindles a childhood fascination with Eisenheim, the Prince's interest evolves into obsession...and suddenly the city's Chief Inspector (Giamatti) finds himself investigating a shocking crime. But even as the Inspector engages him in a dramatic challenge of wills, Eisenheim prepares for his most impressive illusion yet in this "mesmerizing" (Entertainment Weekly) and "beautifully acted" (Good Morning America) film that "teases you until the very end!" (The New York Times).

"Beautifully acted and handsomely mounted...intelligent and intriguing...  Bill Gallo, The Village Voice
"A lush piece of romanticism.  Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"...a true work of art...positively magical...  Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Editor's Note
In 1900 Vienna, a magician named Eisenheim the Illusionist is mystifying audiences with a remarkable magic act that is seemingly too good to believe. Chief Inspector Uhl, who is in the pocket of Crown Prince Leopold--and considers himself somewhat of an amateur conjurer--becomes obsessed with Eisenheim; Uhl is not only desperate to find out the secrets behind Eisenheim's tricks but also worried that the master magician might pose a threat to the crown prince's nefarious plans. In addition, Eisenheim is quickly growing close to Duchess Sophie von Teschen, his childhood love, who is engaged to Leopold. As Eisenheim's act becomes even more amazing--including apparently raising the spirits of the dead--he enrages the crown prince even further, leading to deception and murder. Edward Norton (FIGHT CLUB), who studied magic with Ricky Jay (THE SPANISH PRISONER) in preparing for the role, is terrific as Eisenheim, an enigmatic showman hiding a dark side. The excellent supporting cast features fine performances by Rufus Sewell (A KNIGHT'S TALE) as the evil, conniving Leopold; Jessica Biel (7TH HEAVEN) as the beautiful Sophie; and Paul Giamatti (SIDEWAYS) as the perceptive but bumbling Uhl. Written and directed by Neil Burger (INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSASSIN), THE ILLUSIONIST, which is based on a short story by Pulitzer Prizewinner Steven Millhauser, is a complex tale filled with mystery and awe. The compelling score was composed by minimalist musician Philip Glass and conducted by Michael Reisman.

Features

Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Sensormatic

Technical Info


Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Foxvideo
Video Release Date Release Date: 1/9/2007
Video Play Time Running Time: 110 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2006
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 2240237
Video UPC UPC: 00024543402374
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, Spanish
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  1.78:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review The Illusionist - DVD
By: Chris Barsanti filmcritic.com DVD Reviews
Published on: 12/29/2006 5:45 PM
There's something in Paul Giamatti that was just made for the 19th century. With those slightly bulbous but penetrating eyes and stolid weariness, one can imagine him looking out of an old daguerreotype with hat in hand, an emblem of a less superficial age. So it's nice to see Giamatti (so often made to play the whiny comic relief) cast in the otherwise dismissible film The Illusionist as a gruff policeman in fin de siècle Vienna, dropping his voice into a lower register than usual and assuming an impressive stature; honorable but shaded with a tiny bit of incipient corruption. If only everything else in the film worked this well....read the full review
Expert Review The Illusionist - DVD
By: Brian Holcomb Cinema Blend DVD Reviews
Published on: 1/18/2007 11:18 PM
This is a very strange film to categorize. Is it a Historical drama' A mystery-thriller' A romance' A tale of political intrigue' A ghost story' The answer is "Yes" to all of the above and yet none of those elements really sit comfortably with each other. The romance is hardly romantic and the mystery often far from mysterious. Yet, somehow the film itself creates an air of romance and mystery outside the narrative....read the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Edward Norton
Video Cast Info Jessica Biel
Video Cast Info Paul Giamatti
Video Cast Info Rufus Sewell
Video Cast Info Dick Pope - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Michael London - Producer
Video Cast Info Naomi Geraghty - Editor
Video Cast Info Neil Burger - Director
Video Cast Info Neil Burger - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Philip Glass - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Steven Millhauser - Based On Short Story By
Video Cast Info Ted Liebowitz - Executive Producer

Professional Reviews

Rolling Stone
3 stars out of 5 -- "Edward Norton is at his best here, chalking up another boundary-stretching performance..." 08/24/2006 p.108

Entertainment Weekly
"[R]igorously styled?.Every one of Norton's postures feels chosen. Yet the interesting actor has chosen so thoughtfully that we're riveted." -- Grade: B 08/18/2006 p.113-114

New York Times
"Entertaining....A pungent period folk tale that teases until the very end." 08/15/2006 p.E8

Uncut
4 stars out of 5 -- "[W]onderfully staged, with Norton on fine form as the weirdly charismatic Eisenheim and Giamatti as the perfect foil." 03/01/2007 p.118

Total Film
3 stars out of 5 -- "Edward Norton brings pensive intensity to the role..." 04/01/2007 p.39

Ultimate DVD
3 stars out of 5 -- "[B]eautifully shot, engrossing and well-acted....It's a solid, enjoyable film..." 03/01/2007 p.116

Sight and Sound
"[W]hat THE ILLUSIONIST does well is create a compelling atmosphere, abetted by Dick Pope's nicely judged cinematography..." 04/01/2007 p.68

Uncut
4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] astounding stunts and seductive cinematography....Norton is so hypnotic he could steal your wallet." 08/01/2007 p.137

ReelViews 8 of 10
The Illusionist is the kind of film that could too easily get lost in the summertime crowd, which is a shame because it's a lot a fun - an infectious mix of romance, mystery, and magic. Filmmaker Neil Burger (Interview with an Assassin), adapting a short story by Steven Millhauser, has used solid acting, capable storytelling, and deft sleight-of-hand directing to provide a motion picture that is more entertaining than one might suspect from the title. The movie celebrates magic in its many forms while testifying to the enduring power of love...Burger does an excellent job of keeping the audience guessing - is Eisenheim a master trickster or does he control supernatural forces? We don't find out the answer until the closing moments, but it's enjoyable to guess along the way. - James Berardinelli

Variety 9 of 10
A bizarre story of intrigue, magic and murder in turn-of-the-century Vienna casts a considerable spell in "The Illusionist." Impeccably crafted second feature from writer-director Neil Burger (2002's "Interview With the Assassin") will be tricky to position commercially, since it will strike some arthouse types as pulpy and conventional, and may prove too aristocratically rarefied for the general modern public...Production benefits greatly from the glorious Prague locations that stand in for Vienna, as cinematographer Dick Pope captures them, along with Ondrej Nekvasil's production designs and Ngila Dickson's costumes, with subdued richness. - Todd McCarthy

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Norton,Edward
Product attributeLabel:   Fox Home Entertainment
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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