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The Boston Globe

Movies

Movie Review

So where exactly did he put that Goya?

Some people can’t stand Danny Boyle’s approach to filmmaking. All that hyperactive cutting and color-saturated imagery, the in-your-face camera angles yoked to tempos fueled by breakneck music — at times Boyle can seem more like a DJ than a director. But because his style is generally wedded to strong story lines — in movies like “Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours,” “28 Days Later,” and “Trainspotting” — a lot of audiences, critics, and Oscar voters follow him willingly.

With “Trance,” story becomes just another element in Boyle’s commercial pop-Cubism, and the results are nearly fatal. The title couldn’t be more misleading, since the movie’s the opposite of dozy and quiescent — it’s what you might get if a post-doctoral student put a heist movie in a Cuisinart. James McAvoy plays our narrator Simon, a London auction-house employee who gets conked on the head during a brazen mid-bid robbery by a gang of thieves. He wakes up in the hospital minus a chunk of his memory. Simon remembers that he was in on the job, but he can’t remember where he put the booty: Goya’s spectral 1798 painting “Witches in the Air.”

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