TheIllusionist2 TheIllusionist2
Feature Film

U.S. poster for “The Illusionist”

Sony Pictures Classics has just released the U.S. one-sheet poster for Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist and we are pleased to be the first to post it online (click for larger image):

In my opinion, The Illusionist is one of the best animated features of the year – a true accomplishment in storytelling through traditional hand drawn character animation (sans dialogue). We’ll be discussing the film further as we get closer to its December 25th U.S. release date. In the meantime I concur with Mark Mayerson’s thoughtful review and point toward the U.S. Illustionist website for exclusive images.

  • Doug

    Wow! A close-up of the poster reveals “Music by Sylvain Chomet”. Who are these over-achievers!!!!!??????

    Can’t wait to see this!

  • Katie Johnson

    Exciting as it is, I’m not a huge fan of this poster. Its so plain. Whats up with that blue?

    I cannot wait to see this film!

  • brendon

    Oof. How do you misspell ‘Jacques’ and how does your copy editor let that shit through?

  • Chris S

    Wow, what a terrible poster, two of the many reasons stated in previous comments. Can’t wait to see the film, though! I just hope others do too; but with a poster this bad?

  • Bob Harper

    I’m with Katie – this poster does nothing to attract those who are not “in the know”, to want to see this film.

  • Nancy Beiman

    Good Catch, Brendan. That is an inexcusable error.

  • Smudge

    Don’t let the poster scare you away, this film is superb! I had the pleasure of seeing it at Ottawa this year and it was easily the best film I saw at the festival (short or feature).

  • Heidi D

    I hope everyone in the U.S. enjoys the exquisite detail of this film as much as I did. I have lived in Edinburgh for many years and now consider it to be my hometown. Sylvain Chomet has captured its stunning skyline perfectly and the perfection and detail that has gone into the film is breathtaking. Each frame is beautifully drawn and lovingly created. There are wonderful replicated Edinburgh landmarks such as Jenners and Princes Street, and Chomet has also included the cinema where I saw the film! See if you can spot it near the end….

  • The poignant and subtle story grew on me with a second viewing.
    I admired the draughtsmanship in the bgs some gorgeous shots of Scotland ,
    iona and great atmospherics in the sfx animation and compositing work.
    The light is gorgeous thruout and feels like the British isles for sure.

    The animation is superb , long ,long scenes of character animation with subtle acting no volumes
    popping just totally controlled and carefully observed stuff.
    Virtuoso handrawn animation
    aimed at discerning adult audiences. I really really hope it makes some money
    at the box office.
    We need an Indy success story to point to as both a commercial and
    critical success.

    As a sidenote I can only dream of this level of handrawn animation being
    put to the service of somethingblike the tintin feature mentioned above.
    There’s surely enough talented Belgians up to the task!

  • This poster sucks. But by any means, go and see the movie!

  • I am sure the film is great and I’m looking forward to seeing it. But I agree that this poster conveys almost nothing of what I find appealing about what little I’ve seen of the movie. This poster basically says “this is a film that has received some positive reviews and is probably about a magician.” It’s too bad, but I imagined most of the people who see this film in the US will already know what it is anyway.

  • Stephanie

    The movie is beautiful; this poster is not.

  • Sony doesn’t always do so well in granting a diverse enough theater offerings for international animation features… so I’m enormously skeptical of “coming to a theater near you.” East coast? Done. West coast? Done. Ignore everyone else? Done.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I would be lucky if one theater in town even gets it at all.

  • Edwin Austin

    I hope we will get an ASIFA screening.

  • PD

    I was very very disappointed with Illusionist. The film is a mess – as a story it’s badly told from beginning to end. Interestingly entire sequences were cut at the very last minute after being fully produced. The film had severe narrative defects which were not resolved and it shows in the final version. Anyone notice that amazingly animated rugby match playing on the TV sets in the bg? Bit OTT for just a BG detail don’t you think? That was originally an entire sequence where Alice goes with Tatishceff and sees the boyfriend playing rugby, all fully animated and then CUT since it was redundant to the story, as were loads of other scenes – around 30mins of finished animation was lost severly affecting the original intention of the story.

    The narrative is choppy and abstract in its direction and at times it makes very little sense. Some character story arcs are inexplicable – the drunk being the worst (brilliantly animated though) as he randomly pops up at the end for no good reason – the fact that it was the same character that invited Tatishceff to perform in his village completely passed me over.

    Alice comes across as a greedy gold digger and not some naive innocent, and she ditches this poor man at the first available opportunity after she has bled him dry. Her belief that Tatischeff can do ‘real’ magic is not explained at all well.

    Even artistically, in a film which on the whole is very very beautiful (that last shot of the book and the shadow? WOW!!!!) there are some bizarre off choices in the art direction. In the scene where the manager of Jenners is trying to decide what to display in his front window; the colour design, composition and character designs are so bad you have to wonder if you are suddenly watching a different film. A real mixed boat.
    And if Chomet is so against CGI and so FOR hand drawn animation, why oh why was there that completely ghastly badly judged CGI turnaround of Edinburgh at the end?! It looked appalling – stylistically out of tune with the beautiful watercolour look from the rest of the film and narratively pointless.

    Being a 2D animator I SO wanted a lot from Illusionist to help reinforce that 2D is not dead and can continue to thrive. I’m glad it’s getting good press but I was appalled at a dull boring film of people just walking and walking around! MAJOR disappointment.

    It is a shame Tati’s name is in any way connected to this travesty.

    It is a very, VERY weak film.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful review – all I’ve seen so far is “IT’S GREAT! GO SEE IT!”

      I’d still like to see it, though I had similar complaints about the “story” aspect of The Triplets of Belleville, which I thought looked incredible but did not hold my interest otherwise.

      • Jo

        I agree with PD, this didn’t live up to the energy and pace of Triplets.

        The animation and artwork is definitely superb but the story drags, could have done with a some ruthless editing …

  • Carolyn Bates

    I’m not fond of the poster but I loved The Illusionist and thought it captured Tati and his relationship with his unexpected ward, painfully and beautifully. The pacing’s slower, but there’s so much great character posing, animation and scenic beauty to take in. The animators depict Tati’s physicality and inject lots of humor into the pantomine; but the awkward and pained moments collect & settle heavily in the heart. It’s a thoughtful and memorable film.

  • andrew osmond

    PD has been cross-posting his assertions to other forums, so I think it’s time to call him out. Can he give a source, or any evidence, for his claim that _30 minutes of finished animation_ (an incredibly large amount!) was cut from the Illusionist? Did he work on the film himself? (And again, I’d need more evidence than PD simply posting ‘yes.’)

    Re the CGI Edinburgh at the end, it may have been ‘narratively pointless,’ but given that the whole film is a tribute to Edinburgh, I thought it was a fitting goodbye to the city.

  • J

    I totally agree with PD’s points. I really wanted to like the film, I had high hopes for it. I almost felt guilty as I walked out of the cinema with mixed feelings about it.
    It has some nice moments, some great pieces of animation. But unfortunately it’s not a good film.

  • I agree with PD and J. I love Triplets and Chomet’s earlier short The Old Lady and the Pigeons, so I had great anticipation for this film. The life of a talented but not so famous entertainer is poignantly depicted but the slow pacing and some awkward storytelling rob the film of greatness. I enjoyed some of the oddball entertainers than were minor characters, they reminded me of what I liked about Chomet’s work but there is too much reliance on rotoscoping and the character motivations are often unclear. I like Tati but in this film there is too much Tati and not enough Chomot.

    • Paul D

      There was no rotoscoping. The only video we shot was for the two scenes of the dancers in the pub. The animation is entirely due to the hard work and talent of the animators.

  • H Aaron

    “but given that the whole film is a tribute to Edinburgh, I thought it was a fitting goodbye to the city”.

    The Illusionist was originally written by Jacques Tati as a bitter sweet letter of remorse to his daughter and had nothing to do with Edinburgh. Since Scotland failed to embrace Chomet’s movie in the way he had hoped he now says the cities location is irrelevant.

    On a different note, Chomet/Sony faces legal action by the makers of Edward Norton’s The Illusionist over trademark ownership of the title.

    • andrew osmond

      Yes, I know the original script wasn’t about Edinburgh, but we’re talking about Chomet’s version of that script, which is mostly set in, um, Edinburgh. Has Chomet really said ‘the city’s location is irrelevant’? I’d be grateful for a link. If he has said that, he’s certainly changed his tune since I saw him at the Edinburgh Film Festival this summer, when he spoke enthusiastically about his love for the city, and how its beauty inspired him.

  • Bill

    Both Mayerson and PD make good points, but I’m afraid I side with PD on this one. Really, the character development and story arc is there, just maybe too subtle, dare I say, too European? Certainly one of the best of the year, but I didn’t love it the way I loved Triplettes.

  • calartskid

    the poster could have used a better pose..

  • Bec

    It’s been said before but I can’t help saying it again- for a film with some of the most beautiful artwork and lighting I have ever seen – this is poster is just awful.

    The top half- okay. But what on earth happened at the bottom? Why such horrible colours that completely misrepresent the film? The positioning?… yikes.

    At least the website tries to carry on the mood and nostalgia of the film, this just leaves me confused and upset.

    Poster rant and all story points aside, the film is visually breathtaking- see it if you can.