Friday, April 12, 2013


Those that know me or regularly read my blog know that Danny Boyle is among my favorite directors.  Whether he's making crime films ('Shallow Grave', 'Trainspotting', 'A Life Less Ordinary', 'Millions'), adventure ('The Beach'), horror ('28 Days Later'), sci-fi ('Sunshine'), romantic drama ('Slumdog Millionaire'), intense drama ('127 Hours'), live theater ('Frankenstein'), or the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, you can always be assured you're going to see something different, well made, and worth seeing.  Plus, if you ever get a chance to see him speak in person (which I've been fortunate to do three times), he's consistently inspiring and passionate about filmmaking.

And, as usual, his latest project, 'Trance' is completely different than anything he's done before, and anything I've seen before.  The premise of the film is an art heist.  But while I love art heist films, this one isn't really about the heist itself but rather the lost memories of the heist.  It's a twisty, violent head trip of a British crime film centering around the mysterious art and science of hypnosis, featuring great performances by James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel.  Similar to 'Inception', you really need to pay close attention if you even want a shot at being able to follow it, particularly towards the end.  I can't say it's all crystal clear for me, but I look forward to seeing it again later this year.  And it's surely one of the best of the year so far.

Grade: A


  1. I am also a huge fan of Danny Boyle, (I have yet to see Shallow Grave) but I am also under the same Boyle spell as yourself. The man really is superb and, as you pointed out, has worked in a plethora of different genres and has excelled. This movie was interesting to say the least, but it started to lose me with the "I know what you want" - cut to the bathroom - and then the reveal. I found that to be somewhat distracting from the whole rest of the movie, and I see where it may have solidified some of the ending but sort of found it unnecessary. Also the Rosario Dawson monologue was a bit preposterous. The whole thing, the third person speech, some of the ideas behind the reveal; I just didn't buy into it and after that I became detached.

    The movie did look beautiful, the cinematographer definitely captured a gritty, twisty atmosphere. The acting was also very good, but I feel like Vincent Cassel was under utilized.

    1. Hey Jack. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Trance is actually on my list to rewatch this weekend to see if it gets better or worse the second time.

      Oh, and if you're a big Boyle fan, you should look for theatrical screenings of his updated version of 'Frankenstein', a play he did in the U.K. with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. Great stuff!