New International Trailer for Chomet’s ‘The Illusionist’

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

I’ve written enough about Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist that regular readers should now be fully aware of just what exactly the Triplets of Belleville director is bringing to the screen, but for the uninitiated I offer up the lengthy synopsis that accompanies the newest UK trailer for the film as it will hit theaters across the pond on August 20 as us Yanks sit around and wait for Sony Pictures Classics to get off their hands and announce a release date:

The Illusionist is one of a dying breed of stage entertainers. With emerging rock stars stealing his thunder, he is forced to accept increasingly obscure assignments in fringe theatres, at garden parties and in bars and cafés. However, whilst performing in a village pub off the west coast of Scotland, he encounters Alice, an innocent young girl, who will change his life forever.

Watching his performance to the excited villagers who are celebrating the arrival of electricity to their remote island, Alice becomes awestruck by our hero and believes his tricks are real magic. Following him to Edinburgh, she keeps his home while he goes to work in a small local theatre. Enchanted by her enthusiasm for his act, he rewards her with increasingly lavish gifts he has ‘conjured’ into existence. Desperate not to disappoint her, he cannot bring himself to reveal that magic does not exist and that buying these gifts is driving him to ruin.

But as Alice comes of age, she finds love and moves on. The Illusionist no longer has to pretend and, untangled from his own web of deceit, resumes his life as a travelling entertainer, a much wiser man.

The film is based on an unproduced script by French comedy legend Jacques Tati, which has caused a bit of an uproar as Tati’s grandson, Richard McDonald, was quoted by The Guardian saying, “The sabotaging of Tati’s original L’illusionniste script, without recognising his troubled intentions, so that it resembles little more than a grotesque, eclectic, nostalgic homage to its author is the most disrespectful act.”

So, with all that taken into consideration, here is the trailer and if you would like to explore the RopeofSilicon gallery of 34 images from the film please click here.

Thanks to Slashfilm for the heads up.


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