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Caryn James

James McAvoy Meets Himself in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 22, 2014 8:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Bryan Singer's bold, entertaining X-Men: Days of Future Past is not as sleek or as clever as X-Men First Class, but it makes up for those lapses with a fiercely emotional performance by McAvoy and some dazzling set pieces.

Danny Boyle's 'Trance': James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Twisted Memories

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 4, 2013 9:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Playing a sophisticated London auctioneer, James McAvoy gazes into the camera with cool, nerveless clarity as his voiceover gives us the inside tricks of protecting and stealing a painting. This opening sequence of Danny Boyle's Trance is no more than exposition with a dash of red herring, and shouldn't work at all. Yet it does because McAvoy's voice is so captivating, already layered with deception and delusion, and because Boyle's visual creativity sweeps us along. We zoom into the auction room; we're in a van with a gang of mercenaries hired by the auction house in case of trouble; a black and white flashback shows us the good old days when it was easy to steal a Rembrandt. Keep in mind how well McAvoy and Boyle save this opening; that will be extremely relevant to the ending of Trance, a film that looks like a heist movie wrapped in a memory puzzle, but is itself a kind of red herring.

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