By Rob Hutchins

Did anyone happen to catch the London Olympics at all?  You could probably be forgiven for missing it owing to the severe lack of media coverage it seemed to receive.

You would not, however, be forgiven the heinous sin of missing the one event to launch a summer of British triumph, the spectacular Opening Ceremony.

The London Olympics were not only the chance to prove to the world that the British are not all toothy smiles and foppish haircuts, but rather a nation of vast and significant talent.  They also presented yet another platform for one of Britain’s most prolific artistic directors to once again bamboozle the world with the beauty, energy and imagination of a cultural milieu that both he and Britain are most famed for.

Danny Boyle’s departure from the big screen following the success of his critically acclaimed 2010 film 127 Hours must have seemed like inertia most painful to those of his biggest followers.  But while most directors were still recovering from the tidal force of Boyle’s multi academy award winning Slumdog Millionaire of 2008, he was busy preparing to unveil his much anticipated Olympic Opening Ceremony: Isles of Wonder.

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Now after his brief holiday from the silver screen to concentrate on his lesser passions of Olympic openings, this tireless British talent makes a welcome return with his latest film, TRANCE.

Hitting UK screens on 27th March, TRANCE is a psychological thriller about a fine art auctioneer, mixed up with a criminal gang, who joins forces with a hypnotherapist to recover a lost painting.  With a stunning cast that includes the dexterity of James McAvoy (Atonement, X-Men First Class), the enigmatic Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Mesrine) and the beauty of Rosario Dawson (Seven Pounds, Sin City), Boyle appears fervent to follow up a triumphant 2012 and set the pace of 2013.

“I wanted to do something different,” says Boyle, “mix things up a bit, and I think TRANCE does that – it’s a twisting psychological thriller and I hope an entertaining ride that people will enjoy watching and arguing about afterwards!”

Evidently invigorated by his recent dabble with live television performances including his contribution to the National Theatre Live series with an adaptation of Frankenstein, featuring the foppishly haired Brit, Benedict Cumberbatch, Boyle is glad for a return to the office and plans to do so with the promise of a grand entrance.

“After a mad summer with London 2012,” he says, “it’s great to get back to the day job; treachery and intrigue on the screen rather than behind-the-scenes!”

Armed to the teeth with cinematic talent TRANCE see’s Boyle re-united with many of his frequent collaborators including his long-term screen writer John Hodge.  Responsible for such screenplays as Trainspotting and The Beach that projected the partnership to the heights they enjoy today, Hodge is a man who knows how to turn out a psychological thriller.  And if echoing a collaboration anything like the darkly funny, poignant and sinisterly energetic thriller Shallow Grave (1994), TRANCE certainly has the chance of being the film to see of 2013.

Meanwhile, following a hugely successful collaboration over last summer, Boyle once again turns to the man behind the music of London 2012, Underworld’s Rick Smith to deliver the high energy film score so greatly associated with the director since Smith’s first involvement with the soundtrack to 1997’s Trainspotting.

McAvoy and Cassel are respectively always a joy to watch, and following a performance many have hailed as ‘genre defining’ in X-Men First Class, young Glaswegian: McAvoy, is an actor that history shows can always deliver.  While cooler than cool Vincent Cassel is an actor of serious presence, doing suave better than Bond, and doing French better than France.

Surpassing recent success will be no mean feat for the Manchester born director, but when drenched in the raw talent that TRANCE so openly boasts, Boyle looks ready to deliver a film that will have each toothy British smile grinning for the rest of the year.

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