THE ILLUSIONIST is a fine and entertaining film with a great performance by Paul Giamatti. It's not great, and there are certainly weaknesses; the story is almost too simple, and the twist predictable and overly explained in the movie. The rest of the acting is along the lines of melodrama, with Ed Norton overdoing it. Philip Glass's score is completely out of context with the story and visual style of the film. The visual style is annoying at times, using a flicker effect to the point of distraction for a long flashback sequence, and using an iris effect almost throughout the entire film.
Yet Giamatti still makes it worth watching. It's amazing how he steps into a character and makes it his own without overdoing it. In both this film and SIDEWAYS he does character voices, yet at no point is it obvious that it's an affectation.
I'll try to write about the Oscars no later than tomorrow.