Directed by Danny Boyle
Produced by Danny Boyle and Christian Colson
Written by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge
Starring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson
Danny Boyle's latest follows Simon (McAvoy), an art auctioneer, whose job is to safely dispose of a painting in the event of a robbery. After Franck (Cassel) and his men attempt to steal a highly valuable piece from him, Simon suffers from amnesia. This wouldn't be as much of a problem, except he's double-crossed them and stolen the painting himself. When they force him to talk, Simon can't remember what he's done with the artwork. Enter Elizabeth (Dawson), a hypnotherapist bent on helping Simon recover his memories. She partners with them, and the whole group tries to get Simon to remember just what happened. But, as it turns out, things are not as they seem, and Simon might not be ready for what he finds if he unlocks these repressed memories.
Boyle's new film is a fascinating tale that plays with memory (not unlike Inception and Memento), and far from the vein of his recent Oscar-touted works. It is a violent psychological thriller told with just the right amounts of grit and style. However, it has so many twists that it's hard to separate dream from reality, as Simon's memories - or lack thereof - are constantly evolving. And the confusion works so well because it puts the viewer in Simon's situation. In addition, McAvoy gives an intense performance, embracing Simon's shift from a lighter to a darker side; and Cassel is as reliable as ever as the villainous Franck, making him a gray piece of the puzzle instead of a standard black-and-white character. Dawson, meanwhile, is terrific as Elizabeth, a character as strong as she is manipulative. Also, the film is visually interesting, and the soundtrack has some great tunes as well. In the end, the film is a solid entry in Boyle's diverse catalogue, and it just might be one of his best.
Oscar Potential: Best Film Editing, Best Original Song ("Here It Comes"), Best Sound Editing