Excerpt: Arthouse auctioneer Simon (James McAvoy) is involved in the sale of a multi-million dollar Goya painting when the auction house is raided by an art thief named Franck (Vincent Cassel) and his men, who stage an elaborate theft. Before being knocked unconscious during the heist, Simon is able to hide the valuable painting, but having no recollection of what happened, Franck sends him to a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) to help him remember where he put it.
Conclusion: I like that I can count on Director Danny Boyle to craft films that skirt the mainstream. Whether they are prestige films like 127 Hours , in-the-trenches dramas like Trainspotting , or stylish thrillers like Trance , each of Boyle's films offers audiences something new and exciting. James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson are all excellent in Trance , which uses hypnotherapy as a plot device to help McAvoy find the location of a Goya painting he stole.
Conclusion: Danny Boyle's 'Trance' is a twisting psychological noir thriller fueled by deceit and manipulation. Identity and memory become precarious commodities throughout the hypnotic narrative, and while certain revelations are a little convoluted and forced, the film remains mostly satisfying. The video transfer and audio mix are both very strong, respectfully preserving the director's stylish visuals and sound design.
Summary: Woody Allen famously said, "The heart wants what the heart wants," but what we often forget is that everything we attribute to the "heart" is actually a product of the material brain—its twisting neural pathways, its reserves of memory, its manufactured construction of the self. And the brain can easily be fooled or otherwise manipulated, by ourselves and others, by drugs or deep states of altered consciousness.
Conclusion: So essentially, what you have here is a craftily created, British psychological thriller with some star power and an amnesia storyline thrown in for good measure. I was pleasantly surprised and happy with the film’s eventual reveal and Nolan-like conclusion. Act 2 had me on the edge of my couch’s seat wondering where this story was finally going to go. It’s basically all linear, so don’t worry about any Memento -like moments, but you need to be braced for a few bumps...
Summary: You could probably make the argument that Trance tries too hard with its twists and turns and consistently suspicious character quirks but if you look at it as a modern noir infused with some appreciably trippy hypnotherapy motifs, it actually works quite well. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the movie is beautiful to look at nor does it hurt that the cast are all in top form.
Excerpt: Danny Boyle is certainly an accomplished and versatile director. Here, he takes on perhaps his most ambitious film. At first glance, Trance may seem like a straight forward thriller. It is in the execution that things get complicated. James McAvoy plays Simon, a silent art auctioneer who becomes involved in a heist from his own auction house. He teams up with Franck (Vincent Cassel), a gangster who assembles the robbery.