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Rated R    4 stars out of 5



I had to drive a few counties north to see “Trance,” the new hard-to-find movie from Director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionare), just like I had to venture south to find my wife – and both were worth the trip.

With Boyle, all you can expect is something different. This movie is hard to explain, but I will close my eyes and try to remember what my brain will allow me to see.

Simon (James McAvoy of Wanted) works in an art gallery protecting the paintings. When a daring theft goes awry and Simon takes a knock to the head, the police think Simon is a hero. I am not giving it away when I tell you that he was in on it. But he double-crosses his team, led by Franck (Vincent Cassel of Black Swan), and hides the painting. The only problem is he hid it from everybody: the people at the gallery, the cops, his crook buddy Franck and he even hid it from Simon. I would say he could not remember where he put it, but this movie is about what we remember, how we remember and what we do when we do not want to remember something. Just remember that.

So, the best way to get a guy to do something is for a girl to ask him, and it works best when that girl is the lovely Elizabeth, (Rosaria Dawson of Rent) who is also a hypnotherapist. On a side note, I have been a big fan of Rosario Dawson since “Josie and the Pussycats,” a movie ignored by the Academy because of its depiction of our media-driven society as political satire. Was I just in a trance? Well played Rosaria, well played.

This movie felt like “Inception,” then moved into “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” It is a remake of a 2001 British TV movie, but since the only British TV shows I watch are “Bennie Hill” and “Monty Python,” that did not matter to me. This movie did not rely on the hypnosis gimmick; it went deeper than that. After the first 10 minutes, when we find out Simon was in on the robbery, we begin to question everyone’s motive – as do the characters. In its soul, this is a character piece that explores why people do things. I know I give this Danny Boyle movie 4 out of 5 stars, and I know why I drove to Falls Church to see it: because I wanted to see something different. And I did.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker.

Here is a link to his movie review site:

Tom Basham, Indie film maker and movie critic
Tom Basham, Indie film maker and movie critic

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