Saturday, November 04, 2006

Prestidigitation

I just saw Christopher Nolan's film the Prestige, a film I've been waiting to see for awhile.

Nolan, who is really becoming a master of non-linear story telling throws you into a film without creating much context, but once it get's going, it get's going.

This story of rival magicians (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) is very complex, and gives the viewer the same feelings you might have while watching a magic show. Questions like...what's he going to do? Why did he do that? Wait, I think I figured it out. Oh, never mind? etc.

The performances in the film are very good, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, and Rebecca Hall all included. The performances in this film do not require huge dynamic performances, rather subtle ones, that will fly under the radar of year-end award givers, but at the same time are entirely believable and unshowy. If there is award recognition for this film it will come in it's great technical accomplishments. The editing (Lee Smith), cinemotography (Wally Pfister) and costume (Joan Bergin) are all top notch.

My one pre-film recommendation is to read my post Brief Look at the Life of Nikola Tesla. If you do not have an understanding of who Tesla was, this post will help to create a quick context, that does not give away anything in the film, but rather helps understand the context of the film better.

Pictured above: Andy Serkis, David Bowie and Hugh Jackman. The second picture is Christian Bale.

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9 comments:

Mercurie said...

So far The Prestige is my favourite movie this year. I thought the performances were dead on, and while Bowie doesn't look much like the historical Tesla, he pretty much captured the spirit of the man. For those who would like to learn more about Tesla, I'd recommend the book Tesla: Man Out of Time
by Margaret Cheney, perhaps the best biography on one of history's greatest inventors.

Emma said...

I had ScarJo's accent sucked.

Simon A said...

I'm really hanging out for this one- it's out next week. And ScarJo doesn't need a good accent. She just needs to be there, and to bring her cleavage with her.

But seriously, go see The Departed right the eff now.

Ron said...

I thought David Bowie had a really fantastic performance as Tesla, he made it very easy to believe that he was the famous inventor at any given moment in the movie and completely forget that it's David Bowie.

As good as David Bowie was, Scarlett Johansson was equally...well...uninspiring. The role didn't really have a lot of places to go in terms of how it could be acted but I believe she could have put on a much better performance than the one she gave.

Lee Smith, Wally Pfister and Christopher Nolan comprise a triad of sensational filmmakers. Christopher Nolan has worked with these guys in two movies and are working on a third (sequel to Batman Begins -- "The Dark Knight"). He has worked with the cinematographer on 4 movies and they just have such wonderful chemistry, I hope the Academy does not overlook the fantastic behind-the-scenes work that went into this film.

AK said...

I'm so glad you saw it! Anthony and I saw it this weekend and we both loved it. One of the first things we said out of the theater was, "Ryan would like this movie." The second thing we said was, "And, unfortunately, we won't really be able to sit down and discuss it with him." We miss you guys and can't wait to see you in December!

Sheri Ann said...

Deva and I saw this tonight. It was fantastic! She thought it was better than The Illusionits, but it was hard for me to decide. Both were very, very good. I really like Nolan though!

Yih said...

also saw the movie recently. nolan and bale as a duo is phenomenal, and talk about a hugh jackman year. though nothing has been outstanding, that's six films in one year.

the ending was a little...unbelievable in a bad way, but after all said and done, it was very enjoyable.

Kimberly Ann said...

i loved the film and now i want to read the boook.

mae said...

We went and saw this last night, it was really good. I almost want to see it again, as we were driving home, it was, "Oh, that is why..."
I can see why you guys would like it. It was pretty intriging.

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