Danny Boyle has had an illustrious career. His drug drama Trainspotting is still regarded as one of the finest releases of the ‘90s, his Frankenstein play was critically acclaimed and broadcast across the world, and Slumdog Millionaire scooped the coveted Best Picture Oscar in 2009 beating out heavyweight entries from Ron Howard, David Fincher and Stephen Daldry. But even with this impressive résumé under his belt the enthusiastic Brit managed to reach new heights last year with his unforgettable opening ceremony to the 2012 Olympic Games – a wild production full of wit, humor and imagination. So how does one follow that? Well, in typical Danny Boyle fashion, he’s confounded all expectations by choosing to direct a low-budget London based heist thriller titled Trance.
The film begins with the theft of an exceptionally pricy Rembrandt painting estimated at over £15 million. The plan is orchestrated by criminal mastermind Frank (Vincent Cassel) who uses an art expert and employee at the auction, Simon (James McAvoy), as an inside man. Simon’s one job is to follow his company’s procedure in such an event – taking the painting, putting it in a specially designed bag and transporting it to a safe location – but instead he'll hand the object over to Frank at the very last minute. However, when this crucial moment arrives, Simon decides to attack the thief seemingly in an attempt to prevent the crime. It forces Frank to fight back and deliver a blow to the head that knocks Simon out cold. Nonetheless, despite this one setback, the scheme comes off without a hitch – at least until Frank opens the aforementioned bag to discover that the painting has disappeared.