And at its heart, it is a storybook movie. Ed Norton does an excellent job playing Eisenheim; his turns between the enigmatic and charismatic showman and somewhat quiet and driven boy create an interesting divide in his public and private personas. Jessica Biel's character is something more of a puzzle, trapped by society and her life. Oh, and I need to mention Rufus Sewell playing the same arrogant noble role that's he's done a couple times before. But, you know, he does it well, so, no reason to turn elsewhere. Paul Giamatti was probably my favorite in the movie. The role is a definite break from his usual character, definitely a good choice.
The DVD is slightly lacking for special features, though. I certainly would have liked to seen more behind-the-scenes stuff on the visual effects, and being a cinematography nerd, I'd love to have seen a feature on that. And really, being an amateur skeptic, the first thing I was looking for was something explaining the magic tricks in the movie. It might have given up some of the interesting ambiguity concerning Eisenheim's abilities, but c'mon, man. So tempting.
So, yeah. If you missed this one in theaters like I did, check it out.