I have just finished watching Sylvian Chomet’s The Illusionist on DVD and it is a beautiful beautiful film. Set mostly in Edinburgh and the Scottish Isles (with a bit of London and France), the lush hand drawn and painted sets were such a welcome break from the 3D souless perfection of Disney and Pixar.
Having visited Edinburgh and the Scottish Isles about 10 years ago, and having lived in London for close to 9 years, watching The Illusionist brought back a rush of memories, it was like a romanticised version of reality, but at the same time, gritty and authentic (it was constantly raining in London and Scotland in the film). Each gorgeous frame of the movie could have been a painting.
The Illusionist is based on an unproduced script written by a French mime, director and actor Jacques Tati in 1956, intended as a personal letter to his estranged eldest daughter. A quiet film with hardly any dialogue, The Illusionist is the story of a down-on-his-luck illusionist and his fatherly relationship with a ‘daughter’, set mostly amidst the the backdrop of beautiful and at times moody Edinburgh.
If you haven’t yet watched it, I would urge you to do so.