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3.9 out of 5 stars
Trance [DVD]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Simon (James McAvoy) is an art auctioneer who participates as the inside man in an art heist. He double crosses his partners and hides the painting himself. However, due to a nasty bump on the head he gets amnesia and forgets where he stashed the painting. After some unsuccessful torture, his partners in crime take him to see hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) as a way to restore his memory. Elizabeth quickly figures out these guys are the art thieves and wants a piece of the action when they recover the painting.

Now at this point the plot develops layers. People go in and out of trances and see things and you try to figure out what is real and not real. This film is a crime/mystery/thriller/drama that keeps you thinking. Franck (Vincent Cassel) is the ring leader and wants the painting. Worth a view.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, full frontal celebrity nudity (Rosario Dawson)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2013
'Trance' is a psychological mystery thriller that released in 2013 to a mixed response. The movie broke even at the box-office.

The film centres around an art auctioneer, Simon Newton (James McAvoy) who gets embroiled in a heist led by a criminal (Vincent Cassel). During the events he loses his memory and an expensive piece of art. He then enlists the help of a mysterious Hypnotherapist to recover the art.

The movie is visually stunning with a mind bending puzzle that makes you think right from the start. Accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack and slick performances, the suspense hits all the right buttons. It was a win-win situation until the final act. The finale is a total mess due to ambiguous possibilities that become too complex for the films own good.

The performances by the James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson (Hypnotherapist) are just classy. My pick of the lot is McAvoy who is getting better by each movie.

The direction by Danny Boyle is complex and superior when talking about the execution. However, a troubled mind trip requires a soothing ending or simply an ending. Not an over extended trance that becomes a headache.

The background music score by Rick Smith is a claustrophobic thrill ride. The tunes are catchy and hypnotic. A perfect score.

'Trance' was mesmerising until the muddled up ending that tries too hard to stimulate the mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you imagined spending a quiet evening enjoying sound and accessible entertainment, forget anout it ! What we have here is a convoluted, gimmicky, bendy and twisted plot with so many flasbacks and interruptions in the storytelling that you will probably get lost after twenty minutes. Some might even feel that it comes across much more intelligent that it ends up being Having quickly given up on the script I focused instead on the artistic merits of this flick and they amply make up for the lack of understanding. On the credit side, we have two outstanding actor's performances (James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson); the revelation of a truly amazing (naked) body (Rosario Dawson); memorable visuals and lighting effects; and a caravaggio-like use of the chiarobscuro. On the debit side, an ambitious plot that could heave resulted in a great film but ends up in a reasonably good one.
My advice: read a summary of the script before watching !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
When sitting down to watch a Danny Boyle movie about hypnotherapy I anticipated a non-linear narrative and a blurring between reality and the imagination. I was not disappointed as this entertaining stylish kaleidoscopic film noir proves to be a complex riveting ride challenging the viewer to decipher the puzzle presented. James McAvoy is the insider with gambling debts who willing participates in an audacious art theft planned and executed by Vincent Cassel’s criminal gang who are somehow left empty handed as the Goya paining stolen from Delaneys London auction house goes missing. Enlisting the aid of Rosario Dawson’s Harley Street hypnotherapist McAvoy is placed under a number of trances designed to ascertain the location of the painting. The plotting becomes increasingly convoluted as layers are gradually peeled away in this satisfying graphic psychological thriller.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 April 2014
Art auctioneer Simon (McAvoy) gets involved with criminal boss Frank (Cassel) when his gambling addiction get's him into deep debt. In return he must help them steal a valuable painting, where upon the day of the heist Simon apparently hid the painting somewhere, and taking a blow to the head in the robbery forgets where he put it. They enlist the help of hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Dawson), to help unlock it's location. But they're is much more to the story than meets the eye.

Overall they're is no doubt that the premise of Trance is a very intriguing one, and that visually it is executed very well, albeit with an excess of nudity & close up's of McAvoy's baby blues. But particularly full frontal explicit shots of Rosario Dawson that felt more awkward, than erotic. We like a good story that has a clever twist to it, and this does up to a certain point, but it needed to stay focused rather then throwing another twist in the works. This twist too far partly ruined the film for us, making it unreasonable to believe, that your so confused as to what is going on & unsure that your being tricked again, that by the end you don't care anymore & just want it over with (The Brothers Bloom springs to mind). Which to that end , when you get to the reality of the story it's just not rewarding enough, which is sad as plenty of potential was they're.

The acting is pretty good on the whole. James McAvoy (The Last King Of Scotland) is believable in the lead role, managing to produce a contrasting range of emotions & personalities. Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) makes for a credible baddie with his menacing persona, whose easily able to go from common villain to charming rogue. Rosario Dawson (Seven Pounds) probably had the most complex role, which she is more than capable at, but her character just seems as confused as the story.

In conclusion, Trance is like experiencing a distracting smoke screen experimentation in cinematography that impresses more than it's weak plot. Contains strong language, graphic violence, explicit sexual scenes & mature themes. Worth a watch.
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Wow! I thought, as the first ten minutes of `Trace' went by - it's like an updated version of Danny Boyle's masterpiece `Trainspotting.' Everything said Trainspotting to begin with - the narration, the direction, the quick cutting and the way the main character told us the `rules' of the world we were about to see.

Then it all sort of changed. Yes, the direction was still slick. London shows off its coolest side with the buildings and architecture and Danny Boyle does what he's best at by showing off his style as much as possible.

It's about a gang of art thieves of misplace their latest stolen painting and turn to a hypnotherapist to retrieve the information from the man who had forgotten where he put it. And that's the story. The hypnotherapist trying to get the information. Because of the nature of `delving into people's minds,' we're able to play around with reality in the way the story is told. All this reminded me of Inception (albeit without the folding streets) and, once again, it all looks visually amazing.

You've heard of `style over substance;' well this is more a case of `style over story.' Trance looks amazing. But the story could be summed up in about half an hour and it doesn't warrant the full ninety minutes treatment. Yes, there are some twists and turns along the way that you might not see coming, but the characters themselves - being thieves - are a pretty unlikeable bunch who I doubt you'll care much about their fate.

Trance - once again - proves that Danny Boyle is a master of making things look cool and stylish. However, I just got a bit bored with the lack of story. It's not a terrible movie, it's just it could have been so much better. I see that there's plenty of people who have given it five star reviews. I expect Trance is a film that (some of us) need to sit down and watch again to fully appreciate. I may just have to do that.
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Trance is directed by Danny Boyle if you didn't already know, because most of the hype surrounding this film seems to be coming from who is directing, rather than the story or the acting or anything conventionally considered an important component of a 'good film'. However, Trance (from Director Danny Boyle - 127 Hours -Sunshine -Slumdog Millionaire -28 Days Later) may just be Boyle's first slip-up.

Trance is the story of Simon (James McAvoy - Welcome To The Punch) - an auctioneer for a high-end art house who steals a painting (Goya's Witches in the Air) with the assistance of an art thief, Franck (Vincent Cassel - Ocean's Eleven) - however, during the heist Franck knocks Simon out and causes some brain damage. Upon coming round, Simon cannot remember what he has done with the painting. Even with a little gentle 'persuasion' Simon still cannot remember despite his best efforts. Franck has no choice but to involve expert hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson - New Year's Eve) to assist with releasing his memory of what he did with the painting. As she sifts through his memories it's clear that there is more to this heist than meets the eye...

Trance is smart, snappy and stylish affair, McAvoy's performance as the suave Simon is fantastic and he really oozes charm, but this is soon thrown out the window as we see him fray at the edges as his sanity unpeels. Dawson is pretty forgettable for someone with such an integral role to the progression of the film and I felt that Cassel was unintentionally the best character in this. So what's the problem you might ask? Unfortunately it's the screenplay (perennially blamed when the direction falls short) - Trance just comes across as a garbled mess. The narrative is played for us, then altered, then amended, then rehashed again. Whilst this is not inherently a problem, it's just done so much that even an Inception-style reality flip is not believable or even interesting because you are just waiting for the next seismic paradigm shift that erodes your investment in the 102-minute bit.

Extra Content: Four featurettes titled; Hypnotherapy, The Look, The Power of Suggestion; Making Trance (my favourite), The Final Rewrite and finally the Theatrical Trailer.

Whilst it is not the worst film out there by a long margin, I just felt the constant do-overs of the story was unnecessarily complex and actively dilutes the plot. Boyle's direction is impeccable and the soundtrack by Rick Smith is fantastically well suited, just like the leading man. It's a solid effort and the cast are obviously enjoying themselves, but all the dream-in-dream stuff just feels like a weak effort at high-concept chicanery.
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on 27 October 2013
I looked forward to watching this,being a DANNY BOYLE film,but I got frustrated halfway through and though it has a good ending,i wasn't left impressed.
The story is of an art heist,he gets knocked out,can't remember where he put the painring and the other crooks try hypnosis to find the memory and the painting. The first half really works well,with the hypnotist giving you the thought she's up to something,but what?

Then it gets very odd,trying to be INCEPTION,with odd looks into the mind of the crook with the memory loss,the trance scenes become so blurred into the lines of reality it can easily lose it's viewers. I did appreciate the end,where more twists actually explained things and no doublt left a lot of people smiling at this puzzle of movie finally coming together,but that said,it left me thinking of how much I can sell the blu ray for.

For a Danny Boyle movie,this is a huge disappointment. If it kept at the style of the first half and didn't disappear up itself,keeping the end as it is to explain all,then that would've left me satisfied,but this partial mess didn't.

I'm sure the female nudity will please some,but,it is done in a slightly odd way,going on about shaving her lower regions for the reason given.
It's not a bad film,but I have no interest in watching it again and suspect many will feel the same.
Or you could just be left staring at the screen in a bit of a trance.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Trance is up there with Danny Boyle's best films and a great very enjoyable thriller. James Mcavoy plays an auctioneer who takes part in an auction robbery stealing a priceless painting for gangster Vincent Cassell only to have an accident and hit over the head which causes him to forget where he has hidden the painting. Cassell and his gangsters then go to a psychiatrist played by Rosario Dawson who hypnotises Mcavoy in an attempt to get him to remember what happened to the painting. Excellent performances throughout though it is Vincent Cassell's menacing gangster that steals the film this has to also go down as one of the all time great British thrillers with nail biting tension and some excellent unexpected twists. Very highly reccommended. A great adult thriller.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2013
Danny Boyle certainly makes interesting directing choices. He's not your average Hollywood type and continually stretches our film-eye to accept a new and fresh look at genre.
The first 30 minutes of this offering had fixated my interest, which usually is the benchmark for any film, as this goalpost usually means that the film will take you on a ride for the remaining 90 minutes or so.
Discovering where Boyle was going with the plot held my attention throughout and he used the idea of a trance-like state effectively , as the audience is torn between what we perceive as reality and fantasy- and we are kept teetering on a visual bridge between the two.
This effect is quite clever, yet frustrating, giving the audience sympatico with the on-screen characters, however far into the film we are still kept in the dark as to the exact point of the narrative and it seems to get muddled with the films need to be visually captivating , rather than a great story.
All of this dreaminess comes to a head in the last ten minutes of the film, where we are taken on a surprise sub-plot that certainly was unexpected, but it was delivered so quickly and without any resemblance to where the direction originally focused , that it seemed unbelievable and contrived rather than incidental.
What was perceived as a mysterious theft plot turns into a revenge one; so points on the pivotal plot device , but minus- on not caring at all about the revenge, due to its sudden reveal.
Vincent Cassell steals the show, as he always seems immersed in anything he does. Rosario Dawson is one of my favourite actors and is superb here.
I would call this a conversation piece- but would never sit through it again.
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