Trance

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Well over four years ago, Pun Salad opined: "I'm not a violent person, but there's something about James McAvoy that makes me want to give him a good slap." Guess what? McAvoy gets slapped around, and much worse, in this movie. It's almost a feelgood romp for me.

In Trance, McAvoy plays art auctioneer Simon. His company is auctioning off Goya's Witches in the Air (which is an actual famous painting), when a well-planned heist springs into operation. Simon attempts to execute the standard plan: grab the most valuable thing being auctioned (the Goya in this case), and get it to a chute which will whoosh it into a secure time-locked safe. But the head crook (Vincent Cassel), confronts Simon before that happens.

But then … something happens. It's not clear what. But nobody knows the fate of the painting. The bad guys don't have it. The good guys don't either. Simon has suffered a serious head injury (yay!), and he doesn't remember what he did.

Soon, Simon (after more physical abuse) is off to beautiful Elizabeth, a hypnotherapist, in hopes that her hypnoskills will allow the painting to be located. What happens instead: a twisty web of betrayal, violence, sex, and unexpected revelations.

Oh yeah, the MPAA says: "sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, some grisly images, and language." If you can stand that, it's a very competently directed (Danny Boyle) crime thriller.