R&A 13: Trance

1 h 41 min  |  Love&Anarchy  |  Release Date: 23.9.2013

Danny Boyle has relaxed – but not too much – with this enjoyable, labyrinthine neo-noir thriller. It begins as a heist movie, the object of the robbery being a £25m Goya stolen in broad daylight from a London auction house. The gang's inside man, Simon (James McAvoy), an auctioneer and art connoisseur addicted to gambling, is hit over the head by an accomplice (Vincent Cassel) resulting in amnesia and a failure to remember where he stashed the painting. The figuratively and literally enchanting Rosario Dawson, a Harley Street hypnotherapist, is brought in to sort things out, and that's when things start to get complicated (...).

There are many surprises and puzzles in Trance, including a graphic demonstration of the way dramatically different versions of Goya's La Maja Desnuda might help clear up Simon's troubled mind. The less you know about this and most other matters before you see it, the more you're likely to enjoy it. The film has an impressive sound design and is brilliantly photographed by Anthony Dod Mantle (Oscar winner for Slumdog Millionaire), all tilted camera, fractured images and reflections. Nothing is what it seems or appears to be (...).

Philip French, The Observer


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