Everyone knows the story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl. However, there is more to this story here. Set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, Norton is Herr Eisenheim, famous magician (rather, illusionist), whose stage performance has captivated the attention of the Crown Prince, who is to wed Duchess von Deschem (J. Biel), childhood friend of Eisenheim. A crime takes place, but who has done it? Chief Inspector Uhl (P. Giamatti) investigates. -- If you're not into period films, you might actually like this. If you're into such films, you'll hopefully be as captivated by “The Illusionist” as much as I was. The decor makes you feel you are actually in Vienna, the music is excellent (what more to expect from Philip Glass!), the colors and lighting are superb. Several underused actors, and not always at their best in other movies, yet I found them excellent here, and their characters' presentation is fascinating and very well set, from the beginning. Rufus Sewell (Crown Prince) might be considered as overacting, but his character demands this, as he is violent and pompous (to say the least). A wonderful directing work from Neil Burger. In my eyes, this is the most interesting script and the most beautiful film photography (and editing) of a movie picture of this decade.... so far.