L’Illusionniste, or The Illusionist, is a French animated film brought to you by the people behind The Triplets Of Belleville. It revolves around an elderly illusionist struggling to make ends meet in the 1950s. During one of his acts, he meets a young lady, Alice, who is convinced that he is a real magician after he “magically” produces a new pair of shoes for her. They both travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, where their shared adventure will change their lives forever.
This was like a silent movie, because there were only a few lines of dialogue but action speaks louder than words, as always. It’s actually a rather sad story because it seems that nobody really enjoys a magic show with the increasing forms of entertainment available. They share the hotel with other performers like the clown, ventriloquist and a trio of acrobats. Similarly, behind their cheerful selves lies a sad face. Then as Alice starts to yearn for more luxuries, the illusionist had to take on menial and demeaning jobs to support her. I really wanted to shake her real hard to make her realize that everything comes by because he paid for it, not because he made it out of thin air. Stay till the end of the credits for an additional scene. 4 out of 5 stars.