“To be yourself you have to constantly remember yourself.”


After opening with an art heist, Trance takes a sudden psychological turn that spins the entire film into one of unreliable perspective as one of the thieves struggles to remember where he stashed a stolen painting. Although this is established early on, there is rarely a way to distinguish fantasy and reality so the audience is dragged along for the ride in a passive role. That would not matter if the film had greater depth than its central conceit but none of the leads are given any character development and only Rosario Dawson has sufficient material to shine. The script is overreliant on twists to keep the viewer engaged, and the result is the inverse — we never trust that there are stakes to anything we see. The writers are able to shift audience sympathies between the characters effectively, though the voiceovers are frequently heavy-handed (“No piece of art is worth a human life”). I do enjoy films that leave aspects open to interpretation, but by the end Trance felt frustratingly inconsequential — a disappointment from a director as capable as Danny Boyle.