Director: Neil Burger
Writers: Neil Burger (screenplay), Steven Millhauser (Eisenheim the Illusionist)
Tagline: Nothing is what it Seems.
Starring: Edwan Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti
Awards: Nominated for Oscar. 4 Wins and 5 Nominations.
This is actually based on Steven Millhauser’s story called Eisenheim the Illusinonist.
This is a story about a man named Eisenheim in the 1900’s in Vienna. He was a son of a cabinetmaker. When he was still young he met an old man under the tree and there the man performed magic tricks right before his eyes and vanished before him.
Chief Inspector Uhl: As a boy, I’m told, he had a chance encounter with a travelling magician. One version of the story was that the man himself vanished… along with the tree. People began to think he had some sort of special power… or at least that he was a bit different. And then he met her.
He became obsessed with magic tricks and began practicing it and people thought of him as weird.
He also fell in love with Sophie (Jessica Biel), a duchess who was pretty much above his social standing. They were separated and he travelled the world to learn more magic tricks.
It was very captivating from beginning to end.
I really like the way he does his magic in the movie, specially the one about the Orange Tree which was about defying time. It was just sooo amazing. It was pretty unusual, but I believe it could be possible if one focuses their mind into it.
The story gets tricky in the middle of the movie (although I figured it all out before the movie ended and was not a challenge for me) but nevertheless I like it much.
In the movie they showed a necklace made by Eisenheim which was ingeniously made and I want one. Haha. I’ll look for it… muwahaaha. Well.. not exactly the one that turns into a locket because that one would be pretty impossible.. I just like the wooden style of the necklace… hayyy anyone who sells that kind of necklace?
Cinematography was good. Really really good. I like the transitions. [ I can’t get the wooden necklace out of my mind still ]. Hehe
Trivia from IMDB and Wikipedia:
- So that the crew would not have to use CGI to “fake” the magical illusions seen in the movie, Norton received intensive training in sleight of hand and other stage magic techniques from British magician James Freedman and American magician Ricky Jay
- The character of Eisenheim is closely based on the magician and supposed clairvoyant Erik Jan Hanussen, who was famous in Vienna in the early part of the 20th century and was murdered by Nazi soldiers in 1933.
- The trick of the Orange Tree was invented by a 19th Century French magician named Robert-Houdin.
- At the end of the movie, in the train station, electric wires can be seen above the train tracks. These electric wires did not exist in Austria until 1912.
Movie Lines I like:
- Josef: Life and death. Space and time. Fate and chance. Theses are the forces of the universe. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a man who has unlocked these mysteries. From the furthest corners of the world where the dark arts still hold sway he returns to us to demonstrate how nature’s laws may be bent. I give you Eisenheim.
- Eisenheim: From the moment we enter this life we are in the flow of it. We measure it and we mock it, but we cannot defy it. We cannot even speed it up or slow it down. Or can we? Have we not each experienced the sensation that a beautiful moment seemed to pass to quickly, and wished that we could make it linger? Or felt time slow on a dull day, and wished that we could speed things up a bit?
- Eisenheim: I thought we might end this evening with a discussion of the soul. All of the greatest religions speak of the soul’s endurance before the end of life. So what then does it mean to die?