Release date:August 18, 2006
(limited; wide release: September 1)
Studio:Yari Film Group Releasing
MPAA Rating:PG-13 (for some sexuality and violence)
Starring:Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Marsan, James Babson, Brian Caspe, Tom Fisher, Aaron Johnson, Erich Redman, Ellen Savaria, Jake Wood
A supernatural mystery that combines romance, politics and magic, "The Illusionist" is the latest film from the producers of the Oscar winners "Crash" and "Sideways." The film stars Academy Award nominees Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti as two men pitted against each other in a battle of wits: Norton as mysterious stage magician Eisenheim, and Giamatti as Vienna's shrewd Chief Inspector Uhl, with Jessica Biel sharing the screen as the beautiful Sophie von Teschen. When word of Eisenheim's astounding illusions reaches the powerful and pragmatic Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell), the ruler attends one of the magician's shows in order to debunk Eisenheim during the performance. But when the Prince's intended, Sophie von Teschen, assists the magician onstage, Eisenheim and Sophie recognize each other from their childhoods—and a dormant love affair is rekindled. As the clandestine romance continues, Uhl is charged by Leopold to intensify his efforts to expose Eisenheim, even while the magician gains a devoted and vocal public following. With Uhl doggedly searching for the reasons and the man behind the trickery, Eisenheim prepares to execute his greatest illusion yet. "The Illusionist" is written and directed by Neil Burger, and features top-notch production values, including a haunting score by master contemporary composer Philip Glass.