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September 20, 2019 | Rome, Italy

Now You See Me

By | 2018-03-21T18:56:36+02:00 August 3rd, 2013|Reviews|

3.5

Date: 2013

Director: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Mélanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman

Director Louis Leterrier’s witty, suspense-filled thriller is a masterful combination of magic, deception, and outsized Robin Hood capers. Funded by insurance magnate Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), four New York magicians covene mysteriously and soon combine forces to form a new act called “The Four Horsemen.” They are classic magician J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), escape artist Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), con artist/spoon-bender Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and elder statesman Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), a cynical and crusty mentalist.

Their opening act, in Las Vegas, includes a bank heist (the audience reaps the benefits), which attracts the attention of FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and, later, French Interpol agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent). In New Orleans, they do it again — this time robbing an implausible victim whose funds once again benefit the audience, at least in part. Who’s really calling the shots? Leterrier ably switches between the magicians and their pursuers, letting professional and romantic sparks fly. The story culminates with the third show, in New York City, where the stakes are even higher and the performance begins to include whole city blocks.

The dialogue snaps, crackles and pops, digging into the conscience of magicians, swindlers and their handlers, with the humor busting the tension and vice versa. Leterrier serves all this up with Hitchcock-style class, modernized with clever energy and sophistication.

About the Author:

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Judy Edelhoff launched and became producer of a series of prestigious lectures on history, politics, arts and culture televised nationally from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Previously worked in for the Folger Shakespeare Library. In Rome, she served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture. Her interest in cuisine has included collaboration with Italian chefs and master chefs, including the prestigious French Laundry in Napa Valley. She is a native Floridian and later Washington, D.C. resident.

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