100 movies: The Illusionist

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

The IllusionistThe Illusionist (29/11/12)

A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever..

I really wanted to like this film more. I wanted to love it. Love it for its beautiful animation. A charming little story. And just to be swept up in it. I feel like a cold, hard person for not falling in love with it. I merely enjoyed the ride.

Shall I start with the animation itself? It is beautiful. From the perfectly quirky characters to the Scottish countryside. I’ve not seen an animated feature quite like it, in terms of the visuals.

The lack of dialog, or rather the film’s own dialog, took a little bit of an adjustment. It was just a little strange in the beginning. But it made for a very unique animated film. Following along with the actions and the story itself rather than the dialog driving the plot forward. The story and characters were strong enough.

Talking of the characters, that’s where I fell out with the film. The magician himself was a lovely, warm character. He was just doing what he loved where he could. I think it was the young girl and her relationship with him that turned me off the film slightly. Or maybe I’ve just become horribly cynical in my old age. Sure it was cute and adorable in the beginning how this girl is totally taken with this magician. But, to me, it was like she was just along for the ride, taking what she could get. See, told you, cynical!

This poor magician was struggling to keep going with his craft and yet he still lavished this young girl, who looked up to him, with gifts and the sort. She, I didn’t think, really appreciated it.

Maybe I’m looking too far into this film and the characters, but this really bugged me. Well, considering the relationship between the two characters is the central part of the film, if I didn’t ‘get it’, sure it’s going to bug me!

Still, this is a unique and beautiful bit of animation. You just have to be less jaded than me.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

85 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)
  48. Insomnia 3/5 (16/06/12)
  49. Rebel Without a Cause 4/5 (22/06/12)
  50. A Lonely Place to Die 3/5 (26/06/12)
  51. Killer Joe 3/5 (29/06/12)
  52. The Amazing Spider-Man 4/5 (03/07/12)
  53. Raising Arizona 4/5 (04/07/12)
  54. Horrible Bosses 4/5 (06/07/12)
  55. Broadcast News 3/5 (07/07/12)
  56. We Need to Talk About Kevin 4/5 (07/07/12)
  57. Miller’s Crossing 4/5 (18/07/12)
  58. The Dark Knight Rises 5/5 (20/07/12)
  59. 21 Jump Street 5/5 (29/07/12)
  60. The Mystery Team 3/5 (07/08/12)
  61. The Help 4/5 (11/08/12)
  62. The Bourne Legacy 3/5 (13/08/12)
  63. The Expendables 2 4/5 (17/08/12)
  64. Brave 5/5 (19/08/12)
  65. Dracula 3/5 (19/08/12)
  66. The Woman in Black 3/5 (24/08/12)
  67. The Mummy 4/5 (28/08/12)
  68. Lawless 3/5 (30/08/12)
  69. Real Steel 2/5 (31/08/12)
  70. [REC] 3 Genesis 2/5 (04/09/12)
  71. Take Shelter 4/5 (15/09/12)
  72. Dredd 3D 3/5 (19/09/12)
  73. The Apartment 5/5 (23/09/12)
  74. Young Frankenstein 5/5 (25/09/12)
  75. Looper 5/5 (28/09/12)
  76. Sinister 3/5 (10/10/12)
  77. Skyfall 5/5 (26/10/12)
  78. The Prince & Me 3/5 (31/10/12)
  79. Crazy, Stupid, Love 4/5 (03/11/12)
  80. Argo 5/5 (07/11/12)
  81. Super Troopers 3/5 (22/11/12)
  82. The Raid 5/5 (24/11/12)
  83. Moneyball 4/5 (27/11/12)
  84. Lars and the Real Girl 4/5 (28/11/12)
  85. The Illusionist 3/5 (29/11/12)

11 thoughts on “100 movies: The Illusionist

  1. I liked this film quite a bit more than you — though I was primed for its style by the director’s earlier film The Triplets of Belleville (which I recommend you check out — it’s also mostly a silent, but it’s a funny film rather than a heartwarming one).

    I know the girl can come across as being a bit crass, but it’s not out of greed, but naivete. She thinks the illusionist really is a great magician — of the “able to produce things from thin air” sort. It doesn’t occur to her when she sees the coat (for example) that he really went to the store and paid the vast amount for it. She thinks he conjured it up. That’s why the card at the end — “There are no magicians” — is such a sad moment. She realizes just how much the man must have been sacrificing just to make her happy.

    1. Her naivety grated on me. I can’t for the life of me say why, it just did.

      When she reads the card about their being no magicians I felt some sadness, but I wanted to tell her she should have known better!

  2. I liked the film, but I wouldn’t call it great, the story didn’t work for me at all times. But I completely agree that the animation was absolutely breathtaking and beautiful.

  3. I’ve never seen this movie before. I actually thought this was the other Illusionist movie. You know the magician one, which I often get confused with that other movie, The Prestige.

  4. I felt exactly the same about it. I wanted to love it more but didn’t. It’s set in my home city (there was a surreal moment when he walks into the back of a cinema, and it was the very screen I was watching the film in, I had to look around to see if he was there!) so I enjoyed seeing little streets and places I recognised in animated form.

    1. Ha! That’s brilliant! Sure that cinema could have done a great bit of viral marketing when the film was first released in the cinemas and that scene!

  5. so…it perhaps was still worthy of the award nomination attention it received?

    I wasn’t to interested in seeing this one personally, but am happy to see that it at least wasn’t a bad score from you!

    You’re almost at 100 films, Jaina! woohoo

    1. I think maybe it still was. Mostly because it is a stand out animated feature in terms of the actual animation part of it.

      Almost, but with only a few weeks to go, it’s going to be VERY tight!

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