Film Review: Trance


With abundant twists and turns, Danny Boyle’s psychological thriller Trance is absorbing and unpredictable.

Auctioneer Simon is taught the protocol in case of a heist at the prestigious auction house where he works. When an attempt is made to steal a valuable painting, Simon follows the routine. A run in with the criminals leaves him unable to remember what happened, and leaves the criminals demanding a painting…

Trance is a thriller which makes the viewer increasingly question everything they see as the film progresses. Director Danny Boyle plays with the audience’s perception, and keeps them guessing over the authenticity of what is being projected. The narrative blurs the line between actuality and the imagined. Trance has a number of layers which makes it unpredictable. It is this aspect that grips the viewer’s attention.

It is difficult to decipher the characters in Boyle’s film. This confusion enters the plot within the first twenty minutes or so. Viewers are never quite sure whether to take scenes or perceived motivations at face value. As elements of the narrative shift frequently and rapidly, it is difficult to know who to root for, particularly given the criminal nature of the activities.

The cinematography in Trance is a highlight. Use of lighting, particularly artificial lighting, really sets the mood. A number of the effects used in the film are also great. Boyle’s film uses music to good effect. Set in London, the depiction of the city has a level of authenticity often missing from other London-centred movies.

Performances from James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel are excellent. Given the ambiguous nature of the characters in the film, the actors do well to render their performances believable.

If you are looking for a film to switch off to, then Trance will not be for you. For everyone else, it is certainly recommended.

Trailer Round-Up

While the Oscar-nominated films may already be out or due for imminent release, there are plenty of films still to look forward to this year…


Following 2010’s immensely tense 127 Hours, Danny Boyle returns with Trance. The film is a psychological thriller featuring an art auctioneer, a missing painting, a hypnotherapist and a criminal gang. Starring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson, Trance is released in UK cinemas on 27th March 2013.

To The Wonder

As the above trailer exhibits, To The Wonder is teeming with the kind of beautiful images we have come to expect from director Terrence Malick. Starring Ben Affleck as a man torn between Olga Kurylenko and Rachel McAdams, To The Wonder is released on 22nd February 2013.

Sammy’s Great Escape

Sammy does not seem to have aged a day! Sammy’s Great Escape appears to be the sequel to A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures. The first film had a definite environmentalist angle, so it will be interesting to see the spin of this new film. Sammy’s Great Escape is in UK cinemas from 15th February 2013.

The Place Beyond The Pines

Ryan Gosling reunites with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance in The Place Beyond The Pines. The crime drama features an all-star cast including Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper and Ray Liotta. The Place Beyond The Pines is released in UK cinemas on 12th April 2013.