Egads, had a bad day. Going to soothe the savage soul by seeing The Illusionist. 1) It happens to be playing down the street, and 2) they have killer autentico mexican across the street, and nothing says “soothing” like a big plate of carnitas. Haven’t heard anything about it, but my favorite critic is sold, so I’m giving it a go.
This is to keep me from sitting down with a bucket of fried chicken and six hours of the third season of “24.” Which is very sadly my instinct under stress. *stab*
Sometimes you can be perfectly aware of everything that’s wrong with a movie as you’re watching it only to discover, minutes or hours or days later, that the look and the mood of the thing have flooded in and blurred all its flaws. Neil Burger’s somber fairy-tale romance “The Illusionist,” adapted from a short story by Steven Millhauser, is an extremely self-conscious picture: It moves along with the utmost certainty that we’ll be dazzled by it, as if enchantment were a thing that could be enforced. But in the end, “The Illusionist” got me. The picture, set in fin de siècle Vienna, Austria (and filmed in Prague, Czech Republic), is so beautiful to look at that it practically feels like a drug, a little something that you might sip from a miniature crystal glass. I have vague recollections of some of the actors’ trying too hard, and of places where the story dragged like a tired peacock’s tail. But ultimately, by God, I succumbed to the picture’s faux-laudanum haze.
And, wtf, Marie Antoinette isn’t released until October 20th!?!?! I thought with all the reviews, the Vogue cover, the world going Rococo MAD that surely opening night was nigh. But no… I am punished for another two months. Ugh!