The Illusionist (L'Illusionniste)
Directed by Sylvain Chomet | UK / FRANCE | 2010 | 80min | Subtitled
Sylvain Chomet’s follow-up to Oscar-winning favorite THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE was born of intriguingly strange circumstances: an animated film made from a script for a live action film written but never shot by Jacques Tati, France’s postwar master of droll comedy. The film’s star, a dead ringer for Tati’s alter ego M. Hulot, is a stage magician in the twilight of his career. He becomes a hero and object of adoration for a spunky teenaged chambermaid who follows him to Edinburgh from her village in the Scottish highlands. There, she cooks and keeps house for him, becoming a daughter figure as the days turn to years. Chomet’s unparalleled skill at deadpan humor does Tati’s legacy a great honor, as he builds visual gags in the deep space of the frame and uses eccentric off-screen sound jokes. THE ILLUSIONIST’s poignancy and sense of invention would do Tati proud. – Directed by Academy Award nominee Sylvain Chomet; nominations for Best Technical Achievement at the British Independent Film Awards and Best Animated Film at the Golden Globe Awards. - LG - Adapted from Telluride Film Festival
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