The Illusionist is the second animated film directed by Sylvain Chomet, who gained recognition in 2003 with The Triplets of Belleville. The film is based on a script written by French mime, director and actor Jacques Tati in 1956. The script is considered as a letter written to his eldest daughter whom he had abandoned when she was a baby.
The plot is about an illusionist, Tatischeff, who is struggling to survive by performing here and there at a time when artists such as mimes, clowns and magicians have been sidelined by the domination of new technologies, like the radio and the television. While performing at an isolated Scottish village, Tatischeff meets Alice, a young, naive girl. Alice, believing that the magic tricks are actually real, will follow Tati all the way to Edinburgh. From now on we are watching the peculiar relationship that is born between them: Tati, somehow as a long-lost father, is desperately trying to keep up with the fairy tale which Alice, his modern Cinderella, believes to be true.
A sincere, bittersweet film that will not disappoint you, as long as you are in a mood of diving in a magical world which pretty much resembles ours.
The film is available for online streaming here.