Friday, May 26, 2006

SIFF 2006 Opening Gala - The Illusionist, or Why The World Needs More Jessica Biel

It's SIFF season! Liz and I kicked off the festival by attending the opening gala last night, a screening of The Illusionist starring Edward Norton and Jessica Biel (and my old pal Rufus Sewell!) The movie was really good; not quite "great," but really good. It follows an illusionist named Eisenheim in turn-of-the-century Vienna, his run-ins with the local Hapsburg nobility (Rufus) and his cross-class love with a dutchess (Biel). The plot seemed very similar to Carter Beats the Devil, so I had guessed the end about halfway into the movie, but it was still an enjoyable ride. My main complaint was the fairly obvious use of CGI on some of the illusions, when all of them could have been performed traditionally.

Afterwards, Liz and I hobnobed for a while at the gala party. We met up with Adam and his girlfriend, and starwatched a little as Jessica Biel mingled with the crowd. I was surprised that she was really pretty normal-looking; unlike most female celebrities, she has an average, healthy body type. Good for her for being a realistic role-model for young women. The party had no real food to speak of, so we cut out relatively early (both of us worked up to the bell last night), and next year we're going to have to bring more friends.

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