Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Prestige

The Prestige (2006)

At the dawn of the 20th century, rival magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are desperate to reveal each other's secrets. Obsessed by the escalating competition, the two illusionists begin to perform increasingly risky tricks -- which soon turn deadly. Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and David Bowie also star in this taut psychological thriller from director Christopher Nolan.
My Two Cents: Nolan's cerebral thriller compares in quality to previous efforts like Memento and Batman Begins, and proves his versatility; Bale needs no cape and cowl to prove his flair for the dramatic.

NetFlix Rank: Really Liked It
IMDB Rank: 8/10

Further thoughts:

I came close to calling it an "all-star" cast, but after further consideration I decided that Batman, Wolverine, The West Wing's Lord John Marbury, Scarlett Johanssen (in her 4,831st role of 2006), and Caine, who yet again worked his Sherpa-like brilliance, comprise a solid ensemble, but might slightly cheapen the term "all-star."
Not that it matters. The direction is what separates The Prestige.

Nolan's officially won me over with this film. Memento's genius can be chalked up to a gimmick, and with Batman Begins, you could say that he succeeded merely in becoming the anti-Schumacher. But here he takes a period piece about rival magicians and turns it into a beguiling sleeper of a film that deserves mention alongside some just about anything 2006 had to offer.


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