TranceWednesday 27 Mar 2013
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel
Duration: 101 minutes
Think about this next time you're excusing your multitasking ineptitude: Danny Boyle made Trance while he was planning the London 2012 Opening Ceremony - puts the leave-out-the-green-bin-or-fill-out-the-property-tax-form dichotomy into perspective.
Now, it was conceivable that despite the best of intentions and Boyle's track record, Trance would end up rushed and unfocussed - a classic case of reach exceeding grasp. But not a bit of it: beautifully shot, wonderfully acted and an audience tester, this is a must-see. Maybe twice.
One woman (that would be Dawson), two men (McAvoy and Cassel) and a stolen painting (Goya's Witches in the Air) - that's about as much as you need of the plot before you go. McAvoy has even joked that as part of their spoiler blackout punters shouldn't even watch the trailer. He has a point, and if a friend tries to tell you anything about the story, well, they're not really a friend. Ignorance here is indeed bliss.
Co-written by Shallow Grave scribe John Hodge, Trance and its triangle find Boyle returning to the energy and spirit of his first film, feeling more like the work of a young pup on the way up than an Oscar winner who has become an international treasure through his feats on screens big and small. The rug-pulling here is constant as Boyle hopscotches through genres while his characters (and audience) try to fill in the gaps. What follows should serve as a wonderful reminder that the best movie experiences are the ones you're least prepared for, and that leaving a cinema realising you're not as smart as you thought you were is a good thing. Do the gears change too quickly on screen? Half the fun will be arguing about that and the twists afterwards.
With all the Olympics and Oscars hullabaloo, Trance feels like it has snuck into the release schedules, but that just adds to the vibe. Your exhilaration in March 2013 may equal that Friday night in July 2012. Then as now, thanks for the memories.