Without spoilers I will say that Edward Norton was particularly good, especially as a good deal of his performance was sans dialogue, and that Paul Giamatti was excellent as always. I tend to enjoy things having to do with more or less Victorian magic and mediums, so the movie had me there. Also, it was beautifully shot for the most part.
I swear I am not one of those people who always says "oh, I totally saw that coming" because really, I'm not. There are lots of twisty movies that had me along for the ride, and lots of movies that people thought were predictable that I was blown away by. But when The Illusionist ended, my first thought was that the final scene had gone on too long and the director had told us too much. I was quite surprised to find out that my partner in crime had totally bought it, because from the beginning I was sure she wasn't dead, and so I was watching it for that.
The only thing that had made me doubt myself was the timeline. I'm still unclear on how long everything was supposed to take. Eisenheim mourns, buys a theater, etc, and in all of that time no one notices that her body has disappeared? And no one mucks out the stall?
And in the end, an innocent man kills himself. An innocent man with anger management issues, true, but I don't think he deserved to die for that.
(I have a lot of video & DVD things to post, as usual, but they'll have to wait. I have a pot of coffee & two discs worth of "House".)