Tag Archives: The Illusionist

Oscars 2011: Forget Who Should Win, This Is Who I Want To Win

With just a day left to go until the big show, I’d like to bet you’ve had enough Oscar predictions – especially considering quite a handful of the biggest honors are considered locks. Well, I offer you something a little different; not who I think will win, but who I think should win.

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Every Best Picture nominee achieves some degree of filmmaking prowess, otherwise, they wouldn’t be nominated in the first place. Rather than pick apart the elements and compare the contenders by the writing, directing acting, etc., this category comes down to something far simpler, yet something tougher to achieve – poignancy. Which of these films moved me most? Toy Story 3 left me in tears, 127 Hours with a knot in my stomach and Inception with my head spinning, but it was The King’s Speech that was overwhelmingly rousing. This is such a special film for so many reasons and those reasons will likely be rewarded in the other categories, but in terms of the Best Picture Oscar alone, my fingers are crossed for The King Speech based on its incredible ability to connect my heartstrings to those of the characters in the film and tug on them all the way through.

I’ll Be Pissed If This Wins: Inception
Inception may be endlessly interesting and responsible for countless summertime debates, but an Oscar for Best Picture? Come on. On top of that, even after all the discussions, who can say they really understand the movie through and through? It was fun while it lasted, but Inception’s infinite twists and turns aren’t enough for the film to stand the test of time as well as its contenders.

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Review: The Illusionist

It’s nice to find a filmmaker with good intentions, but there’s just so far the intent alone can get you. Writer-director Sylvain Chomet aims to conjure up quite a degree of emotion in his nearly dialogue-less, animated 80 minute film, and while he comes close to making a powerful impact, winds up falling flat thanks to a key facet missing from his movie – entertainment.

Life is rough for The Illusionist in Paris in 1956. Nothing he pulls out of his sleeve or his hat can draw a crowd quite like the rising rock bands. The theater is packed full of screaming girls drooling over the glammed up boys in the band, but the moment The Illusionist takes the stage with his trusty, but testy rabbit, the place empties out. He’s got no choice but to take his show on the road to try to find a crowd that appreciates his magic.

The Illusionist tries to sell his act at theaters and parties, but it isn’t until he winds up in a small pub in Scotland that he finds someone who’s completely taken by his show, a young local named Alice. When The Illusionist decides it’s time to move on, he heads to Edinburgh with Alice secretly in tow. Once there, the two immediately fall for each other – Alice for The Illusionist’s magical abilities and The Illusionist for her interest – and the two begin to form a father/daughter relationship. However, Alice can’t stay a little girl forever and The Illusionist’s acts begin to pale in comparison to Alice’s new beau.

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