My Brilliant Career
and Oscar and Lucinda
director Gillian Armstrong
explores the final feat of the greatest illusionist ever to deceive a live audience in this docudrama concerning Harry Houdini's obsessive quest to find proof of an afterlife. The year is 1926, and Houdini (Guy Pearce
) is an international superstar. Not only does the illusionist's otherworldly ability to bend reality hold audiences completely enthralled, but his easy charm finds him winning the hearts of his growing legion of fans as well. Yet behind Houdini's winning smile resides the restless heart of a tortured soul. Isolated by fame and drowning in regret over having not been present to hear his mother's last words, Houdini sets out in tour of Scotland and announces that he will pay 10,000 dollars to anyone who can prove spiritual contact with his deceased mother. But in his determination to prove that there is life after death, Houdini also becomes the target of countless charlatans, scam artists, and self-proclaimed spiritualists. Of course, stunning psychic Mary McGregor (Catherine Zeta-Jones
) and her daughter/sidekick, Benji (Saoirse Ronan
), seem remarkably sincere in their supernatural talents, yet that doesn't mean that the pair doesn't have their own ulterior motives for making a connection with the world-famous magic man.