This 2006 movie by Christopher Nolan, is set in late nineteenth century England. The movie is based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Christopher Priest. It’s not steampunk in the traditional sense, but it appears in this list because of the appearance of Nikola Tesla (played by the late David Bowie) and plenty of amazing gadgets and mysterious technology. It follows the careers of two rival stage magicians, played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, both of whom perform some seemingly impossible tricks. The movie’s name refers to final of the three components of a successful magic trick, the payoff, as explained by stage engineer John Cutter (Michael Caine.)
The Prestige received Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction, and in my opinion, should have won. It has a rich Victorian era feel with impressive sets and costumes. Nolan’s adaptation makes good use of mystery and intrigue, with a surprise ending. It kept me guessing the entire time, which doesn’t happen very often these days. One doesn’t need to be a steampunk enthusiast to enjoy it.
Above image is a promotional poster for The Prestige. Copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Buena Vista Pictures, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.
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