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A tough cop. A brilliant killer. An unspeakable crime. 

Year: 2002 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Insomina is director Christopher Nolan's brilliant choice for a follow-up to the masterful Memento. Insomnia follows the story of a famed cop named Dormer (Pacino), who travels to Alaska in order to help the locals investigate a gruesome murder. A twist of events turns him into as much a suspect as an investigator, and the audience is left to ponder the fate of a tragically lost soul.

Dormer's investigations lead him to reclusive novelist Walter Finch (Williams). On a rocky, fog-wreathed beach, a stakeout goes awry and the wrong person is shot. Each now knowing a truth about the other, Dormer and Finch enter a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse.

Pacino is brilliant as the sleep-deprived Dormer, his increasing weariness as much existential as it is physical. Equally good is Robin Williams in an uncharacteristic "baddy" role, while Hilary Swank makes up for some awful recent appearances as the eager-beaver local cop who initially hero-worships Dormer but is astute enough to spot his fallibility.

Insomnia belongs on the growing list of great thrillers already released this year, and like those, it's one that's liable to haunt you for awhile. It's both a picture in the Hitchcockian tradition designed to purely entertain and tingle your senses and a thinking person's drama that constantly defies you to ask the question, "What would you do?" The images accurately reflect the coldness and isolation of both the Alaskan landscape and of the characters themselves. This is definitely a film you won't sleep through!

Remember: "A good cop can't sleep because he's missing a piece of the puzzle. A bad cop can't sleep because his conscience won't let him."

Vicki Robertson

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Screenings of this film:

2002/2003 Spring Term (35mm)
2002/2003 Spring Term (35mm)
2002/2003 Spring Term (35mm)