The Illusionist [L'illusionniste] (2010)
Based on an unproduced script by Jacques Tati, The Illusionist is a stunning hand-drawn animation set in Scotland, which bathes the landscapes of the Highlands and the streets of Edinburgh in glowing light.
French conjuror, Monsieur Tatischeff (modelled on Tati), is one of a dying breed of stage entertainers. With emerging rock stars stealing his thunder, he is forced to accept increasingly obscure assignments in fringe theatres, at garden parties and in bars and cafés. While performing in a village pub off the west coast of Scotland, he encounters Alice, an innocent young girl, who is awestruck by his show and believes his tricks are real magic. Fascinated by The Illusionist, Alice stows away on his departing ship and follows him to Edinburgh. There, they quickly fall into a father-daughter relationship, with Alice keeping their home at a boarding house for vaudevillians, while he goes to work in a small local theatre.
A poignant tale told with wit and whimsy – Scotland looks great imagined in ink.