Prestige, The (2006, USA/GBR) C-130m. SCOPE *** D: Christopher Nolan. Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Piper Perabo, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Samantha Mahurin, David Bowie, Andy Serkis, Chao Li Chi. Good-looking, original thriller about two magicians in turn-of-the-century London, whose friendship evolves into rivalry when Jackman's wife dies because Bale fouled up a magic trick. From then on, each one is obsessed with outdoing the other, especially by finding out how the trick of The Transported Man works. Complex narrative, fine performances, film builds suspense well until climax, which seems exaggerated, unbelievable but still packs a punch. Scripted by director Nolan, based on a novel by Christopher Priest.

© Ron Altman