Trance Screen 10 articles



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  • Trance suffers from too many cutesy twists and stylish gotchas to take hold as a pulse-pounding thriller; even Dawson’s intimate grooming (she’s unusually committed to the role) becomes a plot point, one that feels showy the more you think about it. The film plays like something Boyle could kick out in his sleep, all his supercool devices listlessly deployed in service of a mediocre wet dream.

  • Unlike Inception's dream world, which doled out rules and keys to understanding it,Trance's is never imbued with any structure or meaning. Anything goes, which may make all this great fun for the hallucinogenically inclined, but since nothing in these sequences has any lasting consequences, suspense is difficult to amplify.

  • Neglecting to flesh out their motivations results in a lack of emotional investment. By the end, the dramatic tension has long since been deflated. For a film with such a thoroughgoing dedication to discord, its final image is just a little too neat. Fading out on Franck’s gleeful perch between remembering and forgetting, Trance’s ambiguity is as self-satisfied as Cassel’s signature grin.

  • An exacting filmmaker like Lang or Preminger might have given weight to the story's psychological elements, but Boyle's frantic, hodgepodge approach provides only fleeting pleasures. He seems to regard the project as little more than a stylistic exercise, trying out lots of cinematic devices without establishing a unifying perspective on the material.

  • Trance winds up in preposterous territory, but begins promisingly; the opening five minutes set the scene with immersive panache... As the plot gets increasingly convoluted, the specter of Christopher Nolan looms; sadly, we’re reminded more of the airless, “inside-the-mind” narrative constriction of Inception than the moral fluidity of Memento.

  • Trance should be more fun than it is – a criticism that’s been true (for me) of almost all the films directed by Boyle (others include Trainspotting, 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire), a flash-merchant who badly needs to curb his undoubted talent for glitzy images. Boyle’s is what the French used to call a “cinéma du look”, a style where absolutely everything is stylish.

  • It's all provocatively kooky, and ample spoilers forbid ample explanation, but Trance also draws out Boyle's less dazzling commercial side, not to mention his penchant for whirling excess.

  • If you can look past the sputtering conclusion — or the pseudo-intellectual banter about memory, modern art, and other assorted nonsense — what you'll find is a brisk, breezy, style-heavy crime flick that happens to be one of the most purely entertaining movies Boyle has made in a long time.

  • Although the movie is arguably a little too eager to keep several steps ahead of its audience--like an Agatha Christie mystery, it's a puzzle that withholds some essential clues from those who like to try to solve such things as they go along--the overall cleverness and, yes, the occasional audacity of where "Trance" takes you is genuinely cheeky, and largely admirable.

  • For all Mr. Boyle’s labors “Trance” principally comes off as a showcase for his brio, a spirit that animates all his choices, visual and otherwise.Despite his fondness for ugly shocks, deep ones and those more decorative, Mr. Boyle is a vulgar optimist. (The seemingly sneery mantra “choose life” in “Trainspotting” no longer sounds so hollow.)

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