The Illusionist – Sylvain Chomet

I wanted to get this mini-review up while its still at least a little bit fresh. I recently had the pleasure of catching ‘The Illusionist’ by Sylvain Chomet at the Watershed – what a beautiful, beautiful film!

The Illusionist

It takes a lot to choke me up in a cinema, but this one got me. I have the softest of soft-spots for animated films without dialogue, and this was 90 minutes worth of bliss. Pixar’s Wall-e had me for the same reasons in the 1st 30 mins, but then Hollywood had its wicked way for the remainder…

Has to be said I was slightly under-whelmed by the Belleville Rendezvous (Chomet’s 1st feature film) It looked beautiful, but suffered from being a 30 minute spot stretched to a 90 mins feature. Not the case here though with Jaques Tati’s melancholy study on the life of an illusionist.

The Belleville Rendezvous

Having been a professional animator most of my career and going through the University system studying 2D animation, I’ve long been a big fan of Sylvain Chomet’s 1st film ‘The Old Lady and the Pigeons’. It truly is an oddball piece of brilliance, and its nice to see a more rounded story finally produced with the same gusto.

The Old Lady and the Pigeons

It’s going to be fun to see what direction Chomet will take with his next film, lets just hope there’s enough appetite from sponsers to keep Django films in Edinburgh up and running. Its very, very rare you see an animated feature as polished as this outside of the big US companies and to say its refreshing is almost insulting its such an understatement.

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