Danny Boyle is an artful and creative filmmaker whose output has ranged from edgy fare such as Trainspotting to heartfelt Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire. His latest, Trance, is a nifty brainteaser that will appeal to anyone who likes their film noir with a sprinkling of hallucinogens. And the acting is damn good, too.
James McAvoy stars as Simon, an art auctioneer in London who runs up such a load of gambling debts that he joins forces with a suave gangster named Franck (Vincent Cassel) to steal a Goya worth $40 million. Unexpectedly, Simon gets a bad bang on the head during the robbery and can’t remember where he stashed the painting. Enter Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), a Harley Street hypnotherapist brought in to reboot his memory circuits.
This is a fascinating puzzle of a film and it requires your full attention as its twisty plot shifts from flashback to dream to hypnotic suggestion. Trance has a gleaming visual surface that goes from swanky apartments to a recurring nighttime image of a red-lit highway cloverleaf that’s like an analogue for one of Simon’s inflamed synapses. This sexy and slick movie has more than a few surprises, including a lover’s triangle that helps drive the plot to a shocking resolution.
Directed by Danny Boyle
Starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson
R – 101 minutes
Continues at The Odeon