Postmodern turns out to have been the wrong word, and world, for the Nolan brothers (director Christopher and screenwriter Jonathan) of Memento fame. In The Prestige, a Victorian-set sci-fi tale of rival magicians in search of the ultimate trick, the Nolans delight in embedded flashbacks, unreliable diaries (purloined, of course), mad scientists (David Bowie, in a deft cameo), and presto-change-o stagecraft. (“Abracadabra!” will never again sound cheesy.) Cast as a proto-Vegas showman, Hugh Jackman would seem to have the meatier role, but it’s Christian Bale, as the brooding illusionist whose art blights the lives of those he loves, who makes a darker, deeper impression. Although the slowish pacing early on over-indicates how both magicians’ marquee misdirection (a disappearing act) will be achieved, The Prestige still manages a neat trick of its own. So what if you twig to the “how” of the deception. That still leaves the lingering horror of how anyone could stand it.
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The Prestige's Web site:http://theprestige.movies.go.com/