Guillermo del Toro is my favourite director but Danny Boyle is a very close second – Shallow Grave and Sunshine easily make my top ten list of favourite films.
As much as I love James McAvoy, Danny Boyle was the main reason I was ridiculously excited for Trance.
PLOT: During a robbery of an auction house auctioneer Simon (James McAvoy) hides a valuable painting but is knocked out causing him to lose his memory. Attempted burglar Franck (Vincent Cassel) tracks Simon down and forces him to undergo hypnotherapy in order to recover the missing painting. END PLOT
I don’t want to inadvertently give away any spoilers so my thoughts on the plot of Trance are going to be minimal. I will say this – If you don’t pay attention you will lose track of what is going on very quickly. The pace is fast and there are enough twists to ensure that you are one step behind at all times.
There is an argument to be made the plot borders on messy and if you sit down and really think about what you have just watched a few plot holes may creep in. On my first viewing I didn't spot any although my friends did. I think this will become a problem with repeat viewings.
James McAvoy is an actor we don’t see enough of and in Trance he is as watchable as ever. As the plot unravels Simon’s character goes through some dramatic changes and McAvoy plays this very well.
Rosario Dawson is very good as Elizabeth, Simon’s hypnotherapist. Once the twists start unravelling Dawson is more than able to hold her own against McAvoy. Trance contains some scenes of full frontal nudity which means I now know Rosario Dawson on a more personal level than I ever intended to. The nudity is actually an important part of the storyline so kudos to the writers for finally figuring out how to work a naked lady into the plot.
Vincent Cassel, who has that ever threatening quiet danger rounds out the very small cast.
The cinematography is slick and is polished to within an inch of its life. There are some gorgeous but arty shots of motorways at night which are supposed to contrast with a human brain. It just about works but isn’t particularly subtle.
There is plenty of action and a few gory moments of finger nail torture which will always be uncomfortable viewing.
The soundtrack is usually a key feature in Danny Boyle’s films. My favourite musical moment is the use of Dean Martin’s Happy Heart at the end of Shallow Grave. The score worked very well in the film but it isn’t as i-pod friendly as Slumdog Millionaire. The Heist has been listened to quite a few times so I think the soundtrack might grow on me.
Everything about Trance screams Danny Boyle which is a massive compliment. I am slightly worried that twists will turn out to be plot holes but at the moment my first opinion is that I loved every second of it. Trance gets 9/10.