Xavier Dolan’s new film seemed like the event so far …
The temptation of making it big internationally must have been too strong for Matteo Garrone to resist and two films later, the filmmaker who charmed Cannes with the Neapolitan lilt of Gomorra is back in competition with an incongruous fairy-tale offering teeming with midgets, unidentified beasts and an ogre.
Ocean’s Twelve has a reputation that will always precede it; some have called it an anti-sequel, and publications like Entertainment Weekly have dubbed it one of the worst sequels of all time. Though both reactions are, perhaps, understandable, neither is remotely accurate. Ocean’s Twelve is an inherently self-aware sequel, possibly the most self-aware follow-up in modern history. What Steven Soderbergh, screenwriter George Nolfi (whose original script, Honor Among Thieves, was completely unrelated to Ocean’s Eleven and was sold initially before that remake had been released), and the slightly larger-than-before ensemble cast did was make a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film that was wholly cognizant of the fact that it was a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film. Ocean’s Twelve toys with audience expectations, because to cave into them would’ve promised something potentially more disturbing and commonplace than what many perceived to be an ambitious creative flop: something boring.
Danny Boyle has yet to make a dull movie, but that appears to be the only consistency he’s concerned with. His new film Trance is as amped up, jittery, and stylistically charged as Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, and the rest of his filmography, but the story holds up to barely the most minor scrutiny. Trance’s inconsistencies go well beyond its script, all the way down to the various flourishes Boyle employs throughout the film, tossing them out as he deems them useless.