The winning film of our Noir Audience Choice event – as chosen by you!
Imagine you can't make any new memories – every time you meet someone it's like you're meeting them for the first time, every time you arrive somewhere you have no idea what you're doing there or how you got there.
That's the unique situation facing Leonard (Guy Pearce). After an injury during the rape and murder of his wife, he loses the power to retain anything for longer than a few minutes; all he does know is that he's on a relentless search to find the man who killed his wife and put him in this nightmare. Helped and/or hindered by waitress Natalie and the mysterious Terry, who he forgets every time he sees them, Leonard makes frantic tattoos all over his body and takes endless Polaroids to try and piece together both his quest and his life. Nothing is what it seems or was a few minutes earlier (or later). The good people aren't the good people, and the bad people aren't the bad people. But they might be.
The acting in this film is fantastic. Holding the whole thing together is Guy Pearce, again successfully shedding any association with the world of Australian soap operas, as Leonard - the narrator who's as helplessly lost as those who are following him are. He's a man whose only motivation is the fact that he has no real, concrete motivation but still draws the audience into his life and mission. The superb acting by a supporting cast of Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix's Trinity and Cypher) also helps to create a world where everything and everyone is in confusion, and all you have to go on are random words and images.
In short, Memento is one the cleverest, most original and most rewarding films in a long, long, long, long time. It works forwards, backwards, upwards, downwards and inside out all at the same time. Whilst you might think, quite rightly, that this would confuse the hell out of you, it doesn't for one simple reason. In the midst of all the temporal squishes and back to front scenes, the film also has a very decisive beginning, middle and end.
If you don't see this film you will regret it. It takes you deep into the human condition, leaving you with a slightly different view on the world, and forever changed. It's one of those rare cinematic events that should be shouted from the rooftops and accompanied by a fanfare of trumpets. It will lift you up, drop you down and knock you right out of your socks. You do not under any circumstances, even memory loss, want to miss it.
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