I really wanted to see this movie. I waited for it to come to St. Louis. That was weird. When I lived in Chicago, I didn't have to wait often. But anyway, it came to the Hi-Pointe Theater in Clayton. If you are in the St. Louis Area, and haven't been to this theater, this would be a great time to go. This movie is wonderful and the theater is something else.
After my disappointment with Down in the Valley, I was hoping this movie would resecure my trust in Edward Norton. It did. I did not care to see Lady in the Water, I heard it was bad, and decided not to waste my money, so, I was hoping this movie would resecure my trust in Paul Giamatti. It did. And probably the greatest illusion of the film, even Jessica Biel was decent.
It opens on a scene with Eisenhiem the Illusionist sitting in a chair and a ghost-ish aparition appearing to his right. Then, Chief Inspector Uhl, Giamatti, arresting him. Then we go back. We see that Eisenhiem was a childhood friend and boyfriend to Sophie, Biel. She was royalty of sorts and not allowed to see Eisenhiem again. Your typical Romeo and Juliet.
Then we cut to the "present time" in the movie, which is not the present 2006. We then see Eisenheim come to Venice and give a magic show. The people love him. At his next perfomance, has asks for a volunteer. Crown Prince Leopold, played by Rufus Sewel, offers his girfriend. This just happens to be Sophie. The old fire re-ignites and a battle ensues. Poor Sewel is once again fighting a peasant for the hand of royalty. Sound familiar? It was him who lost to Ledger in A Knight's Tale.
Anyway, back the story. Sophie turns up dead after she has a fight with Leopold. She is seen leaving the castle hunched over her horse. Her body is found in a river with a laceration to the neck from a knife or sword.
This unfortunate even puts Eisenheim on the trail to prove Leopold killed her and Uhl on the trail to prove Eisenheim wrong. As the plot thickens, the illusions get stranger, and Uhl gets more torn as to who killed her.
Verdict: The ending was fantastic. I do not know how to describe it. It was just a really fun and entertaining movie to watch. This was well worth the low $6 admission. I would have gladly paid the full $10 I was accustomed to in Chicago. If you are lucky enough to have this movie in one of your local cinemas, you should make a point to see it.