Review: Trance

Trance It should come to the surprise of no one who knows me that I love a Danny Boyle flick. From the drug induced views of the Scottish hills in Trainspotting to the sci-fi epic, Sunshine I've seen them all. I often say I've never seen a bad Danny Boyle flick. So along comes his latest outing Trance starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel. Three unlikely individuals who cross paths during a robbery.

When a near priceless painting is stolen by a couple of thieves during an auction Simon (James McAvoy) tries to stop it. The man coordinating the theft is Franck (Vincent Cassel) who ends up hitting Simon in head and causing a serious bout of amnesia. Simon seeks the help of a hypnotherapist named Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) to help him remember key elements of the day of the robbery. Once all three characters are linked by numerous means we are lead on a series of events that are simultaneously frustrating and exhilarating. In and out of hypnotic induced realities, never knowing what's up and what's down, flashbacks or fantasies the movie has you constantly spinning. In the interest of spoilers I want to keep this review as short as possible. Needless to say that when I left the theater I thought I had it all figured out. Until I talked to my wife who postulated another scenario and it changed my point of view...both could be correct or both wrong. Movies like Trance are pure fun for this very reason. I would assume that our two theories are not the only ones out there. I was thoroughly entertained and I can't wait to discuss it more with friends and family. The performances by McAvoy, Dawson, and Cassel were pretty good. Dawson really stood out with her ability to calm any situation versus McAvoy's sometimes mad man antics, which were required in those particular scenes. Cassel always plays a good villain. This go around he was less suave (his Ocean's 12 performance) and more on par with a street level bad guy, but he did a fine job. Danny Boyle's style is here, but rather muted in the first half of the film. The intriguing nature of hypnotism was a new topic for Boyle, and he took it on with style, per usual. Boyle hasn't ever shied away from any film genre and this is another notch in his belt. Trance is just good movie fun, a very enjoyable summer entry from across the pond.

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