The IllusionistFeature Film |
Chomet's sophomore effort has its charms, but is light on cinematic magic.
Seven years after Sylvain Chomet garnered international acclaim for The Triplets of Belleville, the French director finally returned with his second animated feature, The Illusionist, but the result is often more meandering than enchanting. Based on an unproduced screenplay by Jacques Tati, the film finds the beloved Gallic cinema star (who died in 1982) serving more as an influence than a direct source, with the main character of Tatischeff (Jean-Claude Donda) remarkably bringing the comedian to life in both appearance and movement. A Parisian stage magician who is losing the spotlight to young rock acts, Tatischeff takes on increasingly unglamorous gigs, eventually performing at a pub on a rugged Scottish island, where he meets young Alice (Eilidh Rankin), who follows him to Edinburgh. The relationship between Tatischeff and Alice is vaguely defined, primarily settling into a father/daughter bond, but with an off-putting romantic thread left waving in the air. The two leads are beautifully animated, as is the gorgeous city of Edinburgh, which is the easily most magical element of the whole movie. Unfortunately, other characters remain thinly drawn and generally annoying, and the nearly dialogue-free presentation also proves more confounding than fascinating. Inarguably an animated achievement, The Illusionist is much like its protagonist—initially quite charming, but ultimately a bit lacking.
|The Illusionist Trailer|