According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw away 40 percent of food in the U.S., the equivalent of $165 billion in uneaten food each year.
Have you ever watched a magician perform and wonder, how did he do that? You know it's just a trick, but you can't figure it out and it drives you crazy.
This is the frustrating situation of Crown Prince Leopold in The Illusionist.
A brief synopsis... (Don't worry, I won't give away any spoilers.) Eisenheim is a remarkable illusionist, so much so that he attracts the attention of the intellectual and ambitious Leopold. He also catches the eye of his childhood friend, Sophie, who has herself caught the eye of Leopold.
Sorry, but that's about all I can say of the plot without revealing too much, except, keep your eyes open. Like an illusionist, The Illusionist engages in slight of hand and misdirection. You may not anticipate the ending if you haven't been paying attention.
The strength of The Illusionist, other than the intriguing plot, is Edward Norton's portrayal of the mysterious Eisenheim and Paul Giamatti as Inspector Uhl, a man caught between his ambition and his ethics. (Giamatti was also spectacular in Lady in the Water.) Both actors are superb in their roles. Less so was Rufus Sewell as Crown Prince Leopold. He was all right, but not great. Another actor, perhaps older, may have been better for the role. Jessica Biel was also not the best choice for Sophie. She isn't a poor actress; she's just not strong enough for this role.
The Illusionist has been nominated for an Academy award for cinematography.
Random Notions rating: 8 out of 10, based mainly on the interesting story and on Edward Norton's and Paul Giamatti's performances.