Trance came in under the radar earlier this year when it hit theaters in limited release. One of the first great films of 2013, Trance was not only visually stunning – but it also delivered a thrill ride with a conclusion that I don’t think any movie-goer saw coming.
The film’s title tells you exactly what you’re in for with this psychological thriller. Simon (James McAvoy) works as a fine art auctioneer. He teams up with a group of criminals to steal a famous Goya painting, but after a blow to the head during the heist – he wakes up to discover he has no memory of what happened or his involvement…. much less where he actually hid the painting. The group’s leader Frank (Vincent Cassel) decides that the conventional methods of making Simon talk aren’t going to work if he truly doesn’t remember, so he tries an unconventional approach by hiring hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson). However, as Elizabeth begins to explore Simon’s subconscious – everything begins to blur together – the truth, lies, and even suggestion. You can’t be sure of what is really happening – and the ending is not something you’ll be able to predict.
Trance offers a strong script, a great cast, incredible cinematography, and an accompanying soundtrack that is addictive (literally – I’ve had it on repeat for months in my car). The film also furthers by belief that everything director Danny Boyle touches is golden. It doesn’t matter the genre, Boyle has a way with telling stories that is simply like no other, and this film is no exception.
DVD special features include:
- The Power of Suggestion – Making Trance: Danny’s Film Noir, Hypnotherapy, The Look, The Final Rewrite
- Danny Boyle Retrospective
- Short Film: Eugene by Spencer Susser
- Deleted Scenes
We’re more than half way through 2013 now, and I still name Trance as one of my favorite films of the year. Movies rarely surprise me as this one did. Predictable endings and formulaic scripts have become a staple of Hollywood – it’s too risky to try something new. Cinema and even TV can often become boring for that very reason, but every once in awhile there’s a gem like Trance that wakes you up and makes you take notice. It may have not been as successful as the studios hoped for – but this movie-goer was mesmerized.
Review By: Emma Loggins