Trance (I) (2013)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery

Trance (2013) Poster

An art auctioneer becomes mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting.

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  • James McAvoy in Trance (2013)
  • Rosario Dawson in Trance (2013)
  • Vincent Cassel and James McAvoy in Trance (2013)
  • Vincent Cassel at an event for Trance (2013)
  • Rosario Dawson and James McAvoy at an event for Trance (2013)
  • Rosario Dawson at an event for Trance (2013)

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User Reviews

11 April 2013 | thejoshl
| Danny Boyle continues on his campaign to never repeat genres - Trance falls just short of greatness
Danny Boyle continues on his campaign to never repeat genres by giving us a stunning psychological thriller that crosses so many boundaries I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable even using the word thriller - the only thing for certain is that it is definitely psychological. Borrowing elements of film noir this exhilarating ride is just short of greatness. Just as you could imagine from the title; Trance is a visual, aural and intellectual dream-like experience.

Trance stars James McAvoy as Simon, an auctioneer who gets mixed up with the wrong group of thieves. Simon's auction house is selling a painting £27 million (Roughly $41 million) when a thief by the name of Franck (Vincent Cassel) breaks in and attempts to steal it. Before Franck can do so he and his crew notice the painting has gone missing and Simon is the only person that knows where it is. Unfortunately for Franck, Simon suffers a serious blow to the head during all the chaos and cannot remember where it is. After trying to divulge the location from him proves unsuccessful they turn to a hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) who can unbury any memory and that's where the audience joins in this psychological trip to find the painting. This film will leave you as hypnotized as any member of the cast was I assure you.

Dawson and McAvoy deliver excellent performances; they handle their roles with such control that every little subtle facial movement reveals more than it should, especially within Dawson's character. Vincent Cassel alongside them brings the story to full force and together with Danny Boyle they all bring Joe Aherne's gracefully twitchy screenplay to life.

Boyle interestingly enough stuck to his 18A rating not willing to dilute his story so he could hit a broader audience; the man isn't afraid to have graphic imagery in his film like other directors who have attempted the genre in a similar way (i.e. Chris Nolan, Inception). The cinematography is - as always with Boyle – beautiful and in fact rather charming in its own sense. He handles the camera with such precision it's impossible to question his cinematic choices. The coolest aspect of the film being his declaration of war on the senses with a chaotic soundtrack and fast paced editing.

The film however is not without flaws. The film so heavily relies on tricking the audience that it's actually very easy to get lost and unfortunately lose interest in the film. While I didn't particularly feel this way I can see why others would have. While I've always been fascinated by the idea of an unreliable narrator to tell your story, when you're switching between three perspectives trying to decide which one is reliable it can sometimes take too much focus away from your plot.

Besides that Trance is an intellectual delight with enough twists and turns to keep the majority of people interested. Its performances, style and tremendous attention to detail is enough make a very balanced film. If you love movies similar to Memento this is definitely something to check out.


Be sure to check out my review site:, and my video review of this film here

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Did You Know?


In the room of lost/ stolen paintings there are three of the thirteen taken in 18 March 1990 burglary at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts: 'The Concert' by Vermeer, 'Chez Tortoni' by Manet and 'Storm on the Sea Of Galilee' by Rembrandt. The other paintings in the room are: 'Woman with Fan' by Modigliani (one of a haul of five taken from MOMA, Paris, May 19 2010); 'The Chorus' by Degas (taken from the Musee Cantini, Marseilles, France, December 2009); 'The Nativity with Saint Francis and St Lawrence' by Caravaggio (taken in a suspected Mafia theft from the Church of San Lorenzo, Palermo, Sicily, October 18 1969); 'View of Auvers' by Cezanne, (although the version shown is not that taken from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK during a fireworks display December 31 1999),


Simon: There is a painting, it's by Rembrandt. 'Storm On The Sea Of Galilee', it's called, and he's in it. Old Rembrandt, he's in the painting. He's in there, right in the middle of the storm, looking straight at you. But... you can't see him. And the ...


The view of Auvers by Paul Cezanne in the room of lost or stolen paintings is actually in the Art Institute of Chicago. It was a different painting by him with the same title that was stolen from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK on December 31 1999.

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits have rolled, the audience hears the familiar five taps on the glass window that was an iconic audible signature throughout the film.


Moving On Up
Performed by
M People
Written by Mike Pickering, Paul Heard
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller

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