Film review: Trance (8 out of 10)


For the second time in a month we have James McAvoy in an exciting thriller, but this time the skill of the director is far more obvious.

In Welcome to the Punch Eran Creevy showed he is a director of great promise - in Trance, Danny Boyle shows he is a master of the art.

His use of camera angles, music and overall skill bringing a complex plot to the big screen is impressive.

McAvoy this time is an auctioneer (Simon, with own Scottish accent) who is involved in a plan to steal a valuable painting.

He has joined a tough gang to carry out the scheme.

However, a bash on the head means he can’t remember where he put the stolen masterpiece.

In an attempt to jog his memory the gang bring in hypno-therapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson).

It seems a simple plot but this is the tip of the iceberg.

We have enough twists and turns to make you dizzy until the final reveal.

One argument might be that there are just too many changes of plot direction.

However, Boyle’s direction means you don’t get chance to become bored.

As we follow the attempt to enter Simon’s mind some memories are real, some false and it takes an effort to hang in there.

It’s a 15 certificate and the sight of Rosario Dawson in one particular scene would have completed my education at that tender age!

There’s also an unpleasant scene where the gang try to extract Simon’s memories in a more direct way.

I like having to mentally work in a film so Trance was right up my street.

However, I can see some viewers giving up and concentrating on their popcorn.

Vincent Cassel as the gang leader deserves a mention as his role also has a complexity that could have been too much for some actors.

Overall, it’s a fascinating movie that proves Danny Boyle is a true film director to be admired.

Definitely worth viewing on the big screen to enjoy the full impact of his work.

Film details: Trance (15) 101mins

Director: Danny Boyle

Starring: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley

Steve Payne