The Illusionist
The Illusionist

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In late nineteenth century Vienna, renowned illusionist Eisenheim is reunited with the Duchess von Teschen when she is volunteered from the audience to participate in an illusion during one of his performances. Despite having not seen each other in fifteen years when they were teenagers, they almost immediately recognize each other as Eduard Abramovich and Sophie von Teschen, they who had a doomed romance at that time due to their class differences. The Duchess is soon to be ... (Full plot summary below)

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Full Plot Details

In late nineteenth century Vienna, renowned illusionist Eisenheim is reunited with the Duchess von Teschen when she is volunteered from the audience to participate in an illusion during one of his performances. Despite having not seen each other in fifteen years when they were teenagers, they almost immediately recognize each other as Eduard Abramovich and Sophie von Teschen, they who had a doomed romance at that time due to their class differences. The Duchess is soon to be wed to the Crown Prince Leopold in what would be for him a marriage solely in pursuit of power: overthrowing his father, the Emperor Leopold, as well as overtaking the Hungarian side of the empire. The Crown Prince is known to use violence against women if it suits his needs or purposes. As such, the Duchess, who realizes that she still loves Eisenheim and he her, can never leave the Crown Prince without it jeopardizing her life. After Eisenheim humiliates the Crown Prince at a private show which results in an ...

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Movie Reviews

Chicago Reader - 10/10 by Jonathan Rosenbaum A lush piece of romanticism.
New York Post - 10/10 by Lou Lumenick Deserved an end-of-the-year prestige release, is a true work of art in a marketplace filled with velvet paintings. It's positively magical, the reason we loved movies in the first place.
Village Voice - 9/10 by Bill Gallo Beautifully acted and handsomely mounted, this gorgeous period piece is an intelligent and intriguing exploration of "the dark arts" -- less dependent on mere hocus-pocus than on the convincing journey of the soul undertaken by its hero.
Philadelphia Inquirer - 9/10 by Steven Rea The less said about the twists and turns The Illusionist takes, the better. Suffice to say, Eisenheim's masterful deceptions do not stop when he exits the stage.
Premiere - 8/10 by Jared Shimizu A visual delight as well as an satisfying period drama.
Chicago Tribune - 8/10 by Michael Phillips One of the strengths of The Illusionist: Everyone in it actually appears to be acting in the same era.
USA Today - 8/10 by Claudia Puig The Illusionist casts an exquisitely bewitching spell with its dreamy atmosphere and pervasive sense of suspense.
San Francisco Chronicle - 8/10 by Mick LaSalle A rich and elegant film, full of sly, devious characters with complicated motives.
Baltimore Sun - 8/10 by Michael Sragow This flight of fancy stays aloft on the power of its acting and its atmosphere.
Boston Globe - 8/10 by Ty Burr Illusionist is like an overupholstered wing chair in the corner of a men's club -- you settle in only to be startled by how ridiculously comfy you are.
TV Guide Magazine - 8/10 by Maitland McDonagh This handsome, elegant and restrained fable about love, artifice and power in fin de siecle Vienna is lavishly imagined and yet oddly airless.
ReelViews - 8/10 by James Berardinelli An infectious mix of romance, mystery, and magic.

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