Wednesday, February 9, 2011
The Illusionist 2010
"Although nothing really changes, that doesn't mean you don't get left behind."
My daughter Mercy and I went out to see this tonight. You all probably know this, but it is based on an unfilmed script by Tati, the director of Mon Oncle and Play Time. I haven't seen any films by Tati, but I can see the influence of early film here. First of all, for all intents and purposes, it is a silent. And although it is about an older man caring for a younger as if she were his daughter, so without a romantic element, the main relationship has the flavor of Chaplain's Modern Times or City Lights.
I could see this being a classic silent film, and frankly, I think that animation is the perfect medium for this style of cinema. It is very reminiscent of the first half hour of Wall-E, and we can see Pixar using this same style of cinema, to even greater effect. But The Illusionist, instead of pressing for the quick plot or the quick laugh, is slower and yet still very entertaining, and thus it is utterly charming. This is a quiet film, and at first you wonder what it is about, then you wonder if it has a point, but it seduced me by the end. And it won me over with the ending. How wonderful and sad and touching. Passages of life and all that.
Nothing deep here, just a fine story well told. 4/5