Academy Award® Nominee
In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in a darkened saloon during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and exposure, secrets and revelations,... View more >
violence and disturbing images
Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine... View more >
Academy Award® Nominee for
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A very good movie with twists and misleads. Hugh and Christian did an excellent job. I really enjoyed it.
A bit slow at points, but the payoff at the end made it worth it. My primary complaint is that I was a bit confused by the flashbacks and the similarity of the main characters.
Christopher Nolan, director of "Memento" and "Batman Begins", two of my all-time favorite movies, has made a fiendishly clever puzzle of a movie. "The Prestige" is centers on two magicians in turn-of-the-century London, played wonderfully by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. After an onstage tragedy during an act, one becomes obsessed with revenge, ruining the other's solo act, and then they both become obsessed with revenge, and the whole thing begins spiraling out of control at a rapid rate. Both actors expertly portray their characters' growing obsession with wiping out his opponent.
The film is constructed as a series of flashbacks and flashbacks within flashbacks, but Nolan's skill as a director means you're never confused about where you are in the story. The film is quite risky for a major studio production, too, staunchly refusing to provide a villain to root against and remaining very dark in tone. This isn't a happy movie, but I left completely exhilarated by what I had seen.
Be warned, though, this isn't a movie you can just sit and watch like a typical Hollywood blockbuster. It requires some thought on the part of the audience to be able to puzzle out all the layers of mystery and illusion within the story. If you don't pay close attention (which the first line of the film pretty much tells you to do), chances are you'll get left in the dust as the twists start coming about once a minute in the final act of the film.
The film's supporting roles are all well-played; Michael Caine does his best Michael Caine impersonation as the mentor of sorts to the two magicians, Scarlett Johanssen looks great and does her usual good work as a "lovely assistant" with a bit more brains behind the beauty than she lets on. And David Bowie graces the screen as real-life Thomas Edison rival Tesla, turning in a magnificently understated performance of sheer derangement.
"The Prestige" is the thinking man's escapist flick. You'll still be pouring over all the trickery in this movie days after seeing it, and you'll be wowed by the beautiful cinematography and top-notch acting. This is an absolute must-see for anyone who enjoys putting a little thought into their viewing experience. The usual **** out of 4 for Chris Nolan.
"the Prestige" is a film about two rival magicians in the 1870's, back when live theatre was the norm of the day, before the arrival of the motion picture. Ther was some good moments in the movie, but it didn't get much of my attention. Director Christopher Nolam was a fine director, last year's movie "Batman Begans" made my top 10 list for 2005. But "The Prestige" who come close. there's not enough stuff in the film I like, despite the costume, the special effects with the mental ball, and the cinemagoraphy. Another problem, the film came too soon aftrer "The Illusionist." Which is much better movie than "the Prestige."
I had high expectations for this movie, and for the most part it didn't disappoint. I thought Christian Bale played his part a little more sour than he had to, but that's a small nit to pick.
The twists and turns in the plot were good, and the historical tie-ins were also enjoyable. Scarlett Johannson was drastically underutilized, but since the focus was on the two leads, it probably would have been inappropriate to give her more to do.
Hugh Jackman continues to light up the screen and Michael Caine always manages to class up any picture he's involved in.
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