Monday Movie: The Illusionist
As the music hall gives way to the music concert, a French magician winds up doing a small gig on a remote Scottish island. There he meets a young woman who doesn't seem to realise that he's not the worldly star she takes him for. When she follows him back to London, the conjurer struggles to make ends meet, and keep a smile on her face.
While Sylvain Chomet's earlier Belleville Rendez-vous was a raucous adventure with an undercurrent of bitter realism, The Illusionist takes the opposite tack, telling a melancholy, ordinary story tinged with cartoonish magic. The focus is on emotion over plot, effectively aided by the beautifully detailed animation, but the film perhaps feels a little undernourished as a result.