In the past few years, movies about illusionists seem to live their renaissance - to my great joy. Though I am not a fan of circus, I do love quality illusionism, something I can only "experience" in movies, due to the lack of masters around my little world. This is why I was happy to see that in the last two-three years, there were two great illusionist films, plus one comedy related to it, not to mention that great episode in House M.D. ...
1. The Illusionist
This is my number one, a great quality work that sends more shivers down your spine than most horrors. Plus, Edward Norton proved his genious again. The movie is ironic, magical and even the love line is great. Another interesting thing is that it was inspired by the Mayerling Incident and the story takes place in Austria-Hungary, i.e. my country.
2. The Prestige
Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Scarlett Johansson, this movie turned out to be more known (but not necessarily better) than my nr.1. Though it is interesting to watch how two rival illusionists work out their newest tricks, it somehow isn't as magical as The Illusionist (maybe exactly because of this??). However, it is an entertaining movie about a passion only a limited number of people have access to, and also, it is the clear lesson of "never trust anyone".
Once again, it's Scarlett Johansson and Hugh Jackman, but this time they share the screen with Woody Allen in a way funnier story. The film is more about a modern Jack the Ripper than illusionists but Woody Allen's character (he plays a D-list illusionist) makes sure you don't forget about this tiny detail either. Many say Scoop is a far cry from the director's earlier works and they might by right but I think with Match Point started an era and a series of Woody Allen films that might not become as legendary as Annie Hall, but they surely are interesting, brilliant and, in this case, a proper Woody Allen comedy.
4. House M.D. Season 4, Episode 8 - You Don't Want to Know
As a big House M.D. fan I can say it's a series that gets better with every season. The patient of this particular episode is (what a surprise) an illusionist (played by Steve Valentine) whose heart stops while performing a trick. He finally makes House beg for telling him the secret of a trick (this is something that is very often depicted in illusionist-based movies) but, of course, he keeps it for himself...