Director Christopher Nolan pulls off his own sleight-of-hand with his tricksy adaptation of Christopher Priest’s 1995 mystery novel. “The Prestige” chronicles the epic rivalry between two 19th century illusionists, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angiers (Hugh Jackman), as they each go to great (and sometimes even murderous) lengths in trying to one-up each other – especially when it comes to a stage act known as “The Transported Man.” The two magicians end up sharing and romancing the same beautiful assistant, Olivia Wenscombe (Scarlett Johansson), who may not be all she appears to be, and Angiers goes to dangerous extremes in his quest to come out on top by seeking the counsel – and engineering – of famed cult scientist and inventor, Nikola Tesla (David Bowie). “The Prestige” makes for something of a magic act itself as it unfurls its tale of obsession, secrecy and sacrifice, never showing its full hand until the shocking conclusion; its fractured, mischievous narrative makes this period thriller something of a companion piece to Nolan’s earlier puzzle-film, “Memento.” Real-life stage magician Ricky Jay appears early on as Milton the Magician, the mentor and employer of both Borden and Angiers. – IFC Staff