Memento (2000)

(In theaters, May 2001) The epitome of a gimmick film: Not only does the character suffers from short-term amnesia, but the entire film is told in segments that run backward, from chronological end to chronological beginning, interspaced with black-and-white exposition segments that might or might not be true. It doesn’t take much more than that to create interest, but fortunately, Memento is able to deliver a solid film wrapped around that gorgeous premise. It’s the type of film that keeps on throwing unexpected delights at you, so much that it would be ill-advised to step out for popcorn or bathroom relief lest you miss something important (and you would). Wonderful black humor, snappy screenwriting, provocative conclusion… Chances are that you’ll still be talking about the film a good ten, fifteen minutes after it’s all over. Films like this remind you, even if only momentarily, that cinema -even accessible genre cinema!- can be something more than just formulaic entertainment. The film features an exceptional performance by Guy Pearce, and good turns by The Matrix alumni Joe Pantoliano and Carrie-Anne Moss. Definitely worth a rental.

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