TRANCE (2013)

trance1 Greetings again from the darkness. Director Danny Boyle won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, and he also brought us the wicked Trainspotting and the extraordinary Millions. He is also the guy behind the presentation of the Olympic ceremony in London and the stage version of Frankenstein. Mr. Boyle is very talented and unafraid of risk. You will have to decide for yourself if this one pays off, as viewers seem to be falling on one side or the other.

James McAvoy stars as Simon, an employee at a fine art auction house, similar to Sotheby’s. Simon begins the film by narrating and demonstrating the security measures, and soon enough a real robbery is occurring … a rare and valuable Goya. In the process Simon gets whacked on the head by master thief Franck (Vincent Cassel). We soon enough trance2learn Simon was part of the inside job but, thanks to head trauma, can’t recall where he hid the painting. Franck is not happy about this and Franck is not really a nice man.

Next thing we know, Simon is visiting hypno-therapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) and trying to find his keys, which is really the painting. All the while this is happening, Franck and the crew are listening in and we viewers are being thumped with the techno-music (also known as Trance).  There are numerous “clues” and much mis-direction, so it helps to pay close attention. I would recommend paying special attention to the “Young Woman in the trance3Red Car”.  She is played by Tuppence Middleton, who is a real up-and-comer as an actress … she has quite a few upcoming films over the next 12-15 months.

This one is part heist film, part thriller, part atmospheric softcore sex, double-crossing, relationship flick. Normally a psychological thriller with Vincent Cassel directed by Danny Boyle would be a perfect time in a movie theatre for me. Unfortunately, in the twisty fun versus jumbled mess debate, I lean towards the messy side.

watch the trailer:

3 Responses to TRANCE (2013)

  1. John Raymond (Ray) Peterson says:

    I think you once again nailed it Dave. It is a bit of a jumbled mess. Viewers so disposed will love it perhaps for the movie keeping us guessing to the end as to whether or not Elizabeth is a diabolic opportunist. That’s what kept me watching, but as you said we have to pay attention.
    As best as I can tell this is the first movie I saw where McAvoy turns out to be a bad guy. I became a fan of his after The last King of Scotland. I share your view about Cassel. I wonder what it took to convince Rosario Dawson to play a part with full nudity, though I did understand the reference (not easy to catch) to the thorn page in the art magazine/brochure… not that I’m complaining. Yes a bit messy.
    However I liked it more than not.
    I shall keep an eye out for Tuppence Middleton; thanks for the heads up.

    • Trance is one of those movies that makes you really want to like it, and the more you think about it, the more you realize they were really close to making something special … it just falls short. Yes, I’m a huge Vincent Cassel fan and in regards to Tuppence Middleton, she is definitely getting her shot. She has multiple projects over the next 18 months. By the way, don’t you Canadians ever sleep?

      • John Raymond (Ray) Peterson says:

        I’m half Canadian and half American, so I need half as much sleep..

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