Nelson Leader : April 11th 2013
10 THE NELSON LEADER, APRIL 11, 2013 ENTERTAINMENT Put more money in your back pocket with.... Talk to Harcourts Now. New Zealand's # 1 Real Estate Company Contact Harcourts Nelson 03 548 3034 5290743AB Pure style redeems confusing thriller MOVIE REVIEW: TRANCE Matt Lawrey's MOVIE REVIEW MISSED A REVIEW? To read Matt's previously published reviews, catch trailers and post comment, visit theleader.co.nz BOTTOM LINE: Slightly bonkers but stylish and stimulating all the same. 1G2 (out of five) Also screening: No (M) Definitely worth seeing Brain fade: James McAvoy suffers a nasty case of amnesia in Trance. If there is one genre of movie that I love above all others, it's the thriller. Romances are great, action has its place and it's always hard to go past a good comedy but, for me, the most memor- able films are always thrillers. From Vertigo and Klute to The Silence of the Lambs and The Girl With the Dragon Tat- too, there is nothing like a rip- per of a thriller to get your senses working overtime. Unfortunately, these days many of them use a depressin- gly familiar template that includes cops, serial killers and sadistic cruelty. Director Danny Boyle's Trance is only guilty of two of those crimes. Set in the world of art thieves, it manages to get by without cops or psycho- paths but does feature a rather nasty torture scene. Boyle's credits include Slum Dog Millionaire for which he won the Academy Award for best director in 2008, along with the zombie flicks 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later. His first film was Shallow Grave, his second was Train- spotting and he helmed 127 Hours, Sunshine and The Beach. Last year Boyle also won raves for his work as the artis- tic director of the opening of the London Olympics. Boyle is a talented guy who packs his films with energy and intelligence. Typically, his movies are stylish, inventive, well acted, well cast and more often than not, a little disturbing. All of those descriptions apply to Trance (R16). Leading man James McAvoy plays Simon, an art expert working at one of London's flashest auction hou- ses. The film opens with Simon explaining the steps his employers take to protect their treasures from art thieves. Moments later a gang of ruthless crooks holds up the auction house in an attempt to make off with a Goya worth £27 million. Head crook Franck, played by Frenchman Vincent Cassel, thinks he has scored the masterpiece until he opens his bag and finds an empty frame. Turns out Simon has hidden it but can't remember where because during the heist Franck smacked him in the head with the butt of a shot- gun, leaving him with a rather inconvenient case of amnesia. Much like the kind that is apparently sweeping Parlia- ment. Rosario Dawson then turns up as a hypnotist assigned the job of helping Simon remem- ber where he stashed the pricy picture. Trance is full of twists and turns, outbursts of violence and sequences where you're not at first sure if they are really happening or taking place in Simon's subconscious. It unspools with the kind of visual bravada Boyle has built his career on and pulses with the sort of energy that we don't see enough of on the big screen. The three main players are excellent and, as usual for a Boyle film, it comes with a sweet soundtrack. It also contains a couple of horrific images that sensitive types are unlikely to want in their heads and, to be honest, I'm not actually sure if it all made sense. Somewhere around the 80-minute mark I started to find Trance a tad confusing. I also found some of it distaste- ful and the characters mostly unlikeable. So how come it still gets 31G2 stars? I'm a sucker for style over substance, that's why.
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