Film/TV Jan 28, 2011 at 4:00 am

Sylvain Chomet's Sad, Sweet The Illusionist

THE ILLUSIONIST Tobias had intended to come to the magic show, but had a slight miscommunication with his cab driver.


Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Art Direction
Costume Design
Film Editing
Visual Effects

This is a list of awards for which, because of the nature of the medium, animated films cannot be nominated. Shut the fuck up about the Academy inventing a new award to make sure hundreds of thousands of man-hours of work can potentially get some kind of recognition. You jackass.
1. Not sure why a quote from "Arrested Development" is apt enough to function as a caption by virtue of the words "magic show."

2. I knew only that I waited for close to a year for this to be released and I was going to see it. My 9-year-old asked to see it with me, and he teared at the end, as did some adults. People should read from reviews how "triste" this film is before deciding to allow their kids to come. What reads as "fresh start" to adults can come across as "abandonment" to children.

3. It's okay to mention that Jacques Tati himself makes a cameo appearance in the film, in a clip from "Mon Oncle." And that Malcolm Ross formerly of Orange Juice and Aztec Camera composed some of the music.

4. Production issue: Content management systems don't have brains. Two green boxes, one for each film titled "The Illusionist" accompany this article. Only the bottom of the two should.
I loved triplets of belleville, and I'm all about subtle, sad film. But this was like a SNL-star tries full length comedy and fails version of sadness. Instead of jokes, the film piles sadness punchline upon sadness punchline until it just seems like the filmmakers are going for sadness density points instead of telling a story.

Case in point: Dejected, unemployed, illusionist walks the street alone pondering his fate, encounters puppetless-sad-clown-faced-midget-ventriloquist who is now drowning his sorrow in booze and panhandling, takes pity on sad clown (again, w/out his best friend the puppet!), and gives him a penny - sad, touching... and then a WIENERDOG IN A WHEELCHAIR (with its back legs in one of those little two-wheel dog cart things) comes wheeling up OUT OF NOWHERE and licks the sad puppetless man's hand. wtf?

Don't even get me started on the ending.

All in all, pretty pictures, but I think the film gets lost in its own ambiance and forgets that the point of film is to move and entertain with a compelling story, not drown the viewer in vignettes and easy emotion.

Please wait...

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