As reported in Issue 188, local P7 pupil Harmony Rose Bremner recently won the National Film Critic Award in the 7–11-year old category. Below is the text of her award-winning entry.
By Harmony Rose Bremner
From The director of Belleville Rendez-Vous comes the film about a French magician (Jean-Claude Donna) and a young girl (Edith Rankin). With Sylvain Chomet directing this enchanting movie, it is a must see this year.
The Illusionist is about an old 'has been' French magician and a lonely young girl from rural Scotland, who meet when the Illusionist travels to Scotland to find work. Although there is an obvious age difference, they form a strong bond.
He loves her like a father while the girl is intrigued by his illusions. Together they travel through Scotland, settling in Edinburgh. The magician finds odd jobs and is able to look after the girl. Eventually the girl finds love with someone her own age and the magician realises that she no longer needs him. Sadly, he leaves her via a letter, telling the girl that magicians do not exist. This is an emotional break up because the magician truly loves the girl.
I loved this movie because it had it all. Humour – when the Illusionists' magic tricks go wrong. Emotion - when the magician sadly watches the girl drift away with her newfound love. Music – the wonderful way that the music enhances the changing emotions of the characters. I particularly loved the animation, how it captured the beauty of the familiar sights of Edinburgh, I felt as if I were walking the same road as the girl in the film.
Although, The Illusionist has a PG certificate, its semi-silent and visual animation can sometimes seem complicated, particularly for children under the age of nine. Yet the fragments of mumbled dialogue add mystery, leaving the audience to interpret the story in their own way, making The Illusionist an exceptional film.