The Illusionist is a 2006 period drama based loosely on Steven Millhauser's story "Eisenheim the Illusionist". The Illusionist tells the story of Eisenheim, a magician in turn-of-the-20th-century Vienna.
- Written and directed by Neil Burger
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- From the moment we enter this life, we are in the flow of it [the time]. We measure it and we mark it, but we cannot defy it. We cannot even speed it up or slow it down. Or can we ? Have we not each experienced the sensation… that a beautiful moment seemed to pass too quickly… and wished that we could make it linger ? Or felt time slow on a dull day… and wished that we could speed things up a bit ?
- I thought we might end this evening with a discussion of the soul. All of the greatest religions speak of the soul’s endurance beyond the end of life. So what then does it mean to die?
- Life and death. Space and time. Fate and chance. These are the forces of the universe. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a man who has unlocked these mysteries. From the furthest corners of the world where the dark arts still hold sway he returns to us to demonstrate how nature’s laws may be bent. I give you Eisenheim.
- As a boy, I'm told, he had a chance encounter with a travelling magician. One version of the story was that the man himself vanished... along with the tree. People began to think he had some sort of special power... or at least that he was a bit different. And then he met her.
- Edward Norton - Edward Abramovich aka Eisenheim
- Paul Giamatti - Chief Inspector Walter Uhl
- Jessica Biel - Duchess Sophie von Teschen
- Rufus Sewell - Crown Prince Leopold