Edward Norton has always been a phenomenal actor who has starred in some pretty thought provoking movies like American History X, Fight Club, & 25th Hour.  His 2006 film The Illusionist really made his fans re-think what they knew about Edward Norton. 
    The Illusionist is based on the short story “Eisenheim the Illusionist” by Steven Millhauser which tells the story of Eisenheim (Norton), a stage magician, who was separated from his love, the Duchess von Teschen, Sophie (Beil), as a child.  He is later reunited with Sophie at one of his performances, but learns quickly enough that she is set to marry the Crown Prince Leopold (Sewell) who has a history of violence towards women.    Leopold becomes very suspicious of his bride to be’s relationship with the magician and has Chief Inspector Uhl investigate Eisenheim.  What unfolds is nothing short of mystery and suspense that will keep you asking for more until the very last few minutes of the film.
    The cinematography for this movie is pretty amazing.  The sepia-tint of the film
sets the mood and makes it more mysterious and definitely unique.  The score, composed by Philip Glass, is another great mood setter and really accents the dramatic parts in the film.  Norton and Biel both did a fantastic job and had great chemistry.  But I think
Giamatti and Sewell really stole the show.  Giamatti has a likeness in him that I think many people would agree with.  His portrayal of the Chief Inspector, a man that is caught in the middle of what’s safe and what’s unfathomable, is truly a treat.  He’s a hard guy not to like and you feel sympathy and concern for him just like the other characters.  Sewell, on the other hand, is a guy that you want to hate and that in itself makes his performance a standout.  Always playing the villain, he succeeds in making the audience pray for his death and jump for joy at his failures. 
    The Illusionist, for my money, is a pretty spectacular movie and worth seeing.
The Prestige, a movie along the same lines that came out the same year, is good as well but The Illusionist is the one that you must see.  Between the performances and the handsomely made film, you will find that “Nothing is what it seems”.