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Trance review

Posted : 4 years, 5 months ago on 20 June 2015 04:57

"Noi siamo i nostri ricordi, le cose che abbiamo detto..."

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Trance review

Posted : 5 years, 1 month ago on 22 October 2014 04:32

Memories are warm. Memories are hot. Just like McAvoy’s eyes.

While the ending left me feeling lukewarm, Trance is oh-so-interesting and has the stylish flair that I've come to expect from Danny Boyle. For those reasons alone, it ranks far above the majority of films that came out in its year.

I kept a special eye on Boyle's color treatment throughout the film. Trance is an islander's wet dream with color saturation turned to 11. Its first act is mostly blue on brown, transitioning through the primaries (red and then yellow).

The first and last shots are an example of creating a closed loop through visual language. One of the first shots in Trance shows the Rembrandt painting, large, in the background with a character overlaid while one of the last shots in the film shows the same Rembrandt in the background, small, and beside a character.

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Trance review

Posted : 5 years, 6 months ago on 22 May 2014 10:28

"Do you want to remember or do you want to forget?"

Coming from Danny Boyle i was expecting a lot then this, Trance tries to be like Inception with the psychological thriller feel but the end result isn't up to par with his previous films. The cast was a big selling point for me as James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel are all great actors and they all ended up doing solid performances, actually i thought that James McAvoy did a superb job maybe the best iv'e seen of him. Trance story gets messy at times when it comes to the psychological part whereas Inception's keeps a smooth flow throughout.

The film follows Simon (James McAvoy) a fine art auctioneer with a huge gambling problem, he soon becomes in deep in debt with many people and the only way to pay them off is to trade his debt for a very rich painting to a gang leader. On the day of the auction Simon double-crosses the gang resulting in the gang leader Franck (Vincent Cassel) hitting him over the head with a shotgun causing him to have amnesia. From here the psychological feel takes on a heavy role in the film as the gang takes Simon to go see a hypnotist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) She dissects his mind to make him remember where he put the painting. This happens multiple times taking a psychological tole on Simon to a point to where he doesn't know what's real and what's not.

The pace of the film was also something i didn't like the beginning starts out nice then slows down after that the pace only picks it up for short segments then goes back to slowing down. All this was fine but once they got into the car heading for the painting at the end of the film and Elizabeth is explaining to Simon what really went on, in that really long dawn out scene that we all seen coming anyways, it was just a complete bore to me and i couldn't wait for it to be over. The very last sentence in the movie is Elizabeth saying Do you want to remember or do you want to forget? and the first thing that popped up into my head was forget this disappointing movie.

Overall i give it a 6.0 Oh yeah i totally forgot that Rosario Dawson went fully nude in this, I do have to say it was quite nice.

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Danny did it again, he's not an ordinary filmmaker

Posted : 6 years, 2 months ago on 11 September 2013 04:03

First, anybody who liked this movie may get hurt of my review because I was very little disappointed with the movie. The movie's opening was great and so the end twist but the real problem was the middle portion. It was too draggy drama, nothing but tried to stretch the movie's length.

The performances were good, all the main three guys were excellent in their respective roles. The hypnotherapy they used in the movie was too much for the plot like I felt it was all about hypnosis and it did not look real to me. In another angle, this movie looked like the fusion or borrowed ideas from 'Inception' and 'Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind'. The movie had many positive sides too, Rosario Dawson's mysterious character and layers in the story.

Don't mistake me, I just expressed what I felt of it, for me it was a fine quality movie that lacked originality except the hypnotherapy that made little difference to the movie. Still a good movie to see once and appreciate the my old Danny for giving a variety of genre movie every time. Remember I simply liked it but not excited way.


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"Trance" (2013)

Posted : 6 years, 2 months ago on 29 August 2013 06:31


Simon, a fine art dealer, double-crosses a gang during the theft of a highly valuable painting, and ends up with amnesia so he can't remember where he hid the picture. They send him to hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb to try and get it out of him.
So you can probably guess from that premise that Trance is equal parts psychological and straightforward thrills – and director Danny Boyle has always been brilliant at that. The depictions of Simon's mind always ring very true, especially in how Elizabeth sometimes appears in the rooms he imagines as she talks to him. And later on, after Elizabeth finds out about the gang and has them sit in on the therapy sessions, they too start to appear in Simon's mind, making it clear that he feels crowded and can't concentrate with them around.
The movie does take a very predictable turn by suggesting that Elizabeth may have ulterior motives, but to be fair, I was still interested in how it would all be resolved.
Sadly, though, the last act is where the movie really falls apart. Obviously I don't want to spoil any details, but the climax throws first one plot twist at you, then another, and another – almost to the point of lunacy! Not to mention, one particular reveal is a ridiculous lapse in logic.
In conclusion, while it's not Danny Boyle's best work, this is still an interesting psychological thriller – and probably the best 2013 release I've rented so far.

My rating: 70%

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A good movie

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 8 June 2013 08:44

Since I'm a huge fan of Danny Boyle, of course, I was really eager to check this flick. Therefore, I had some rather huge expectations and, unfortunately, I thought it was slightly disappointing. I mean, don't misunderstand me, I actually enjoyed it and I was entertained throughout the whole thing but it was definitely a weaker effort, especially considering the exceptional track-record of Danny Boyle. Basically, it is a psychological thriller, a mix between 'Inception' and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'. The link with 'Inception' was pretty obvious since it was dealing with various levels of reality but Boyle's movie was still completely different than Nolan's opus. Basically, he built up some kind of a maze and even though it was quite intriguing, it was never really convincing. Indeed, I thought that the beginning was rather weak and the last 30 minutes were just an endless succession of the usual preposterous twists. Still, I like the damned thing. Indeed, the cast was solid (James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson) and some scenes were quite exhilarating. Indeed, even though the story barely made sense (after a while, I just stopped counting the plot-holes), Boyle still managed to make it engaging and to make the most of it, you just have to sit back and enjoy the show without analyzing too much what is actually going on. To conclude, even though it turned out to be a disappointment, it remains a solid thriller and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Danny Boyle's work.

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A slick ride worth taking

Posted : 6 years, 7 months ago on 15 April 2013 07:02

"The choice is yours. Do you want to remember or do you want to forget?"

Trance is classic Danny Boyle in every sense of the word, a sophisticated thriller more in the vein of Trainspotting than his more linear recent efforts. It's unsurprising, then, that the movie reunites Boyle with John Hodge, who previously wrote Trainspotting and The Beach for the filmmaker. In a nutshell, Trance is a twisty, hallucinogenic thriller combining elements of film noir and a typical heist picture, filtered through a mind-fuck lens. It's an ideal project for Boyle, who called upon his usual arsenal of visual storytelling techniques to create a perpetual aura of uncertainty and anxiety. Anyone expecting something as cut-and-dried as Slumdog Millionaire or 127 Hours will certainly walk away perplexed, but those eager to engage their brain will find plenty of mental fodder here. Trance is admittedly not entirely satisfying, but it's a unique trip worth taking for its stunning visual construction and a handful of convincing performances.

An employee at a London auction house, Simon Newtown (James McAvoy) conspires with career crook Franck (Vincent Cassel) to steal a Francisco Goya painting worth millions of dollars. But a complication during the heist leaves Simon unconscious and the artwork missing. Unfortunately, Simon loses his memory of what happened during the robbery, and has no idea where he stashed the Goya. With Franck's torture methods proving ineffective, they enlist the help of hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson), who may be able to use hypnosis to dig the information from Simon's scrambled mind. But the more Simon is put under, the more his dreams begin to blur with reality, and it gradually becomes clear that Simon's memories may be better left untouched.

Trance is actually an adaptation of a low-budget television movie from 2001, the writer-director of which, Joe Ahearne, had a hand in the scripting here. The movie opens beautifully, with a stunning sequence introducing us to Simon who fills us in on the history of art theft and the security measures of the establishment he works for. We see the heist unfold during Simon's narration, a brilliantly engaging device that hooks us from the very beginning. Although Boyle never tops the enthralling simplicity of the picture's opening, Trance contains a number of standout sequences. When Boyle delves into Simon's troubled head, the filmmaker runs rampant, abandoning all sense of coherence in favour of outlandish, visually striking images, as we get a glimpse into the dark recesses of the man's mind. The ultra-stylish cinematography by Boyle mainstay Anthony Dod Mantle is sensational. Shooting digitally, Mantle's photography is beautifully ethereal, psychedelic and arresting, while the editing by Jon Harris gives the dream sequences a jittery edge. From a technical perspective, Trance is impossible to fault.

Throughout the narrative, the script raises the typical noir question of who's playing who, and it becomes unclear exactly who the heroes and villains of this picture truly are. Moreover, as Simon's sessions with Elizabeth increase in volume, we find ourselves in a similar position to Simon, who's disorientated and unable to separate reality from fantasy. Boyle keeps teasing us, compelling us to wonder just how many of the narrative goings-on are actually "real" (within the context of how they're presented, that is) and how many are warped through the perception of the characters. People will no doubt compare Trance to Inception in that sense, but Boyle actually one-ups Nolan; whereas Inception's job was to be a lavish blockbuster, Boyle is unafraid to truly mess with us through his incoherent visuals, evoking the spirit of 1929's Un Chien Andalou. But in spite of its strengths, Trance is not as involving as it could've been, as the complexity denies us the chance to get invested in the characters. The script is fairly messy and overwrought, lacking in dramatic effect.

McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) is a reliably charismatic performer, and he makes for a beguiling Simon. Boyle takes Simon to unexpectedly dark places as the narrative keeps unfolding, yet McAvoy handles the role's less savoury aspects with confidence. Even more impressive is Cassel, showing both toughness and a sense of humanity as Franck. Even though his role is more or less villainous, Cassel is always accessible and watchable, while still coming across as a real threat. Meanwhile, Rosario Dawson had the hardest role to play, yet she pulls it off with assurance. She's a credible hypnotherapist whose voice is soothing during the hypnotherapy sessions, and she was also ready to tackle all of the role's complexities. It's such a confident performance from the actress.

It remains to be seen if Trance will hold up to post-viewing scrutiny, as it's difficult to rationalise the motivations of the central characters and it seems fruitless trying to decipher what's real. It's a solid flick, yet Boyle and his crew worked so hard to create something so intensely beautiful that it won't leave a substantial impact, and it lacks soul and humanity. But although it's not one of Boyle's best, it's a slick ride and a worthy addition to his filmmaking oeuvre that shows more creativity and visual flair than 99% of Hollywood's current output.


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