One reason to see The illusionist, apart from the reliable pleasure of watching Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti at work, is to hear Philip Glass’s score. He shows he can do an effective evocation of Vienna (or in this case Prague-standing-in-for-Vienna) while retaining all the signatures of his style. Staying close to conventional becomes a virtue in this case – it’s effective, doesn’t get in the way, and pretty much just works. Think Peer Gynt, a century & change later.
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