smockdaddy and i went to see the illusionist tonight. starring edward norton, paul giamatti, and jessica biel, this movie is captivating in every sense. the movie is especially attractive with starkly contrasting scenes ~ palace scenes versus stage scenes ~ given in these sepia tones that constantly remind us that this is a period piece. and of course, the main characters are easy on the eyes as well. the tagline of the movie is "nothing is what it seems" for a reason. and the story, which is mostly told as a flashback, takes several twists and turns so that the viewers aren't exactlly sure who or what to believe. is it a murder mystery? a love story? a psychological thriller? yes. and, as a woman who prides herself on deciphering plots ten minutes into a movie, i was pleasantly surprised by the illusionist's ending. i don't want to spoil the plot, so i'll simply end with this: this is the movie that my sweet shyamalan should have made.