Feature

Trance

A hypnotist helps pull off an art heist.

Directed by Danny Boyle
(R)

***

Danny Boyle’s latest exercise in “candy-colored escapism” is “one of the most purely entertaining” movies the Slumdog Millionaire director has made in a long time, said Ignatiy Vishnevetsky in the Chicago Sun-Times. After an auction-house employee (James McAvoy) is knocked on the head during the apparent heist of a Goya painting, the film “plays fast and loose” with viewers’ expectations about the characters while bombarding the eyes with inventive visuals. Just don’t expect Boyle to deliver logical plotting—or any emotional rewards. Often, “it feels as if he’s throwing everything at the screen” simply “to obscure the material’s thinness,” said Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. But look past the film’s “rampant trippiness” and you might notice a few wonderful performances, said Stephanie Zacharek in NPR.org. Vincent Cassel makes a “supremely” charming heist leader, and Rosario Dawson is more than persuasive as a hypnotherapist charged with helping an injured co-conspirator recover his memory of where the Goya’s been stashed. “If she blew in your ear, you’d follow her anywhere.”

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