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YMMV: The Prestige
  • All-Star Cast: It's easier to list who isn't a star.
  • Award Snub: It was nominated for only two Academy Awards - Best Art Direction for Nathan Crowley and Best Cinematography for Wally Pfister, losing both. Some accused the Academy of consciously snubbing the film to ensure that The Departed finally delivered Martin Scorsese an Oscar after several Award Snubs of his own, though Christopher Nolan himself said that he wouldn't have expected this film to beat The Departed even if it had been nominated, and that if anything the problem was that The Prestige got released a little too early to take advantage of the usual "Oscar Buzz" season.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Even though Borden and Angier are the main characters of the movie, it's hard to figure out which one is the protagonist and which one is the antagonist. Both go so deeply into their art, even to the point of alienating their loved ones, that their acts of sabotage make it very hard to choose a person to root for.
  • Dueling Movies: In contest with The Illusionist (2006).
  • Fake American: These too.
    • Aussie Hugh Jackman as the American Angier. He's actually a Fake Brit, Lord Caldlow, pretending to be an American.
    • Andy Serkis, a Londoner, plays Alley with an excellent New York accent.
  • Fake Brit: Lots.
    • Scarlett Johansson got some criticism for her accent as Olivia Wenscombe. Some theorize that the character is an American poorly faking a British accent, especially since the other actors clearly have had some vocal coaching.
    • Daniel Davis of The Nanny, using the exact same accent as he did in said show.
    • Piper Perabo as Angier's wife Julia.
  • Fake Nationality: David Bowie (British) as Nikola Tesla (Croatian [Austrian Empire]-born ethnic Serb and naturalized U.S. citizen).
  • Foe Yay: Borden and Angier pretty much personify this trope. Lampshaded in the book when Olivia tells Angier that he and Borden "are like two lovers who can't get along together."
    • In the movie, the words are "You should go to him. You two deserve each other."
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Ricky Jay, the film's magic consultant, plays an incompetent stage magician.
  • It Was His Sled: The ending started being discussed openly almost as soon as the film came out.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Both Angier and Borden.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Reveal. The fact that Lord Cauldlow killed his clones hundreds of times just to beat his long-standing rival. Though, on the other hand, its a little unclear if thats what happened, or if the machine worked the same way it always did, with the clone created some distance away. In that case the real Angier died ages ago, and he and his clones have been committed suicide over and over again, until Borden could be framed, and the surviving one at the end is another clone. This makes him more insane.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The extents that both Angier and Borden went to to pull off the Transported Man.
    • The final shot of the seemingly endless pile of hats and the rows of dead clones shows just how far Angier went for vengeance.
  • Role Association: This is the closest we'll ever get to Wolverine vs. Batman on the big screen. Also throw in some Alfred. Gollum is working for the Goblin King. Oh, and Batman falls in love with the Black Widow.
  • Rule Of Sean Connery: David Bowie and Michael Caine, the former of whom only appears for maybe ten minutes.
  • Tear Jerker: On a second viewing Borden and Fallon's final goodbye is heartbreaking.
  • What an Idiot: not realizing that every time he will be the man on stage AND the man in the box.
    • YMMV because it's a matter of philosophy: Angier, during his trick, would think about whether he would be the one that was dead or the one that was the prestige. After the trick, one of him would be in the tank, going through drowning, and the other would be the prestige. Both Angiers wouldn't feel the same thoughts after the cloning, and only one of them would be alive. After the cloning, they are two different people with different thought processes.
  • The Woobie: Tesla. Just consider this exchange:
    Tesla: Go home. Forget this thing. I can recognize an obsession, no good will come of it.
    Angier: Why, haven't good come of your obsessions?
    Tesla: Well at first. But I followed them too long. I'm their slave... and one day they'll choose to destroy me.


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