March 7, 2013

The Prestige

Christopher Nolan, 2006


          Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are rival magicians with a long history together. This was not always the case, as they had started their apprenticeship together in earlier years. Any bond they had was eventually torn by tragedy, which planted a seed of disdain and envy that grew into a complicated hatred as the years went on. The jealousy also grew as they continued to try to outdo each other in their performances. When Borden finally introduced his "Transporting Man" demonstration into his act, Angier HAD to figure out the method. Seeking help from Nicola Tesla (David Bowie), he was determined to reveal Borden's trickery, if only for himself to outdo in his own repertoire.
          A day later this film is sticking with me. I am mad at myself for waiting so long to see this, especially after hearing so much positive feedback from everyone. It reeks of Nolan immediately, of course in a good way. Christian Bale is an amazing actor and Nolan really knows how to direct him well. Hugh Jackman, who is usually hit or miss for me is great and really delivers a memorable performance, probably the best performance I've seen from him. With such sophisticated attention to detail this film clearly deserved its Oscar nod for Best Art Direction (although I cannot fault the Academy for giving the award to Pan's Labyrinth). Scarlett Johansson was stellar in her role as Angier's assistant, Olivia Wenscombe, someone who is passionate and multi-layered. Rebecca Hall, who played Sarah Borden, was also really impressive. There really wasn't one bad performance in the film.
         I don't believe ANYONE other than Nolan could have made this film. The direction was so flawless and the story-line really made you feel as if you were an audience member watching the magician's perform. Nolan jumps around in the timeline of the story, in that Nolan-esque way. The film has everything: suspense, love, death, surprise, spectacle, and DAVID BOWIE! The ending was very satisfying, in fact I am still thinking about it.

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