At once recognizable and improbable, sketchy and detailed, Edinburgh is, the illusionist aside, Chomet’s main character. (The movie ends with the shop lights on Princes Street going out.) Tatischeff and Alice move into a hotel full of depressed circus types and separately explore a city populated by cheerful drunks. Alice longs for new, grown-up clothes and, as if by magic, the illusionist provides them. (Unknown to her, and a source of comedy for us, he’s been working nights in a garage and doing department-store sale demos, for extra money.)

Scary outlaw Josh Brolin
Paramount Pictures
Scary outlaw Josh Brolin


True Grit
Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
Paramount Pictures
Opens December 22

The Illusionist
Directed by Sylvain Chomet
Sony Pictures Classics
Opens December 25

Although more wistful than the hyper-energetic Triplets, The Illusionist is equally comic. (As in Tati or Triplets, there is far more noise than dialogue.) No less impressive than Chomet’s character animation is his sense of timing. For its 80 minutes, the movie creates the illusion that not just Tati but his form of cerebral slapstick lives. Late in the movie, M. Tatischeff leaves Alice a note, explaining, “Magicians do not exist.” The Illusionist means to demonstrate that they do.

« Previous Page

Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!