Insomnia

Insomnia

4.3 10
Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank

     
 

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Director Christopher Nolan follows up his breakthrough sophomore film Memento with this remake of a stylish Norwegian thriller. Al Pacino stars as Detective Will Dormer, a Los Angeles Police Department legend who temporarily escapes an internal affairs investigation that may ruin his career by traveling to Nightmute, AK, the remote site of a murder that has theSee more details below

Overview

Director Christopher Nolan follows up his breakthrough sophomore film Memento with this remake of a stylish Norwegian thriller. Al Pacino stars as Detective Will Dormer, a Los Angeles Police Department legend who temporarily escapes an internal affairs investigation that may ruin his career by traveling to Nightmute, AK, the remote site of a murder that has the local authorities flummoxed. Along with his partner, Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan), and the small town's wide-eyed rookie investigator, Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), the exhausted Dormer probes the brutal slaying of a teenage girl who was rumored to have a secret lover. A clever ruse quickly lures the killer into a police trap, but the suspect escapes and a tragic accident at the scene leaves Dormer at the mercy of the murderer, a pulp crime novelist named Walter Finch (Robin Williams). As Finch plays a dangerous game of extortion with Dormer, the detective's mental health deteriorates rapidly from guilt over his complicity in a crime and sleep deprivation compounded by the lack of darkness in the land of the midnight sun. Meanwhile, the bright and dogged Ellie continues putting the pieces of a complex puzzle together despite Dormer's skillful attempts to lead the investigation toward the right suspect, but away from his own malfeasance. Insomnia co-stars Paul Dooley, Nicky Katt, Maura Tierney, and Jonathan Jackson.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
One of the most riveting psychological thrillers of recent years, the intricately written, tautly directed Insomnia is further enhanced by superb performances from two enormously gifted actors. Al Pacino shines as a famous Los Angeles police detective working a murder case in Alaska while trying to ride out an internal-affairs investigation back home. Robin Williams portrays the murderer, a clever detective-story writer who reveals his identity to Pacino early on and engages the detective in a potentially deadly cat-and-mouse game. In this American-made adaptation of a well-received 1997 Norwegian film (which starred Stellan Skarsgard as the cop), director Christopher Nolan retains the original’s primary gimmick: Suddenly transported to the land of the midnight sun, the detective is unable to adjust, and his mental acuity is blunted by sleep deprivation. Both Pacino and Williams are uncharacteristically understated, and they receive top-notch support from Hilary Swank (as an eager-beaver Alaskan cop who admires the L.A. detective), Maura Tierney, Nicky Katt, Martin Donovan, and Paul Dooley. The multilayered plot unfolds without resorting to phony melodrama or cheap shocks, which automatically gives Nolan’s movie an edge on the competition. In a genre too often dominated by lazy scripting, two-dimensional characters, and formulaic direction, Insomnia gets extremely high marks. In addition to supplying his own feature-length commentary for the DVD, Nolan conducts an on-camera interview with Pacino and provides commentary for deleted and extended scenes. Swank does her own commentary, and there are two making-of featurettes along with a gallery of stills, production sketches, and posters.
All Movie Guide
Given the narrative daring of Christopher Nolan's unique breakthrough Memento, cinephiles may have expected the director to revolutionize the detective/psycho genre with Insomnia, his remake of the 1997 Norwegian film. Instead, Nolan simply produced a superior example of that form, remarkably straightforward in its approach, which may prove he's positioned to transform cinema as a mainstream product as well as an independent one. In organizing a large budget and a trumpeted cast of Oscar winners into a critically acclaimed hit, Nolan proved his crossover accessibility and gave the world a crime drama with enough style and complexity to stand out. Logically, a film noir set entirely in daylight should struggle to create mood, but Insomnia uses the stark Alaskan landscape to generate the senses of physical and psychological isolation common to that genre. The locale also enables some dynamite sequences, particularly the foot race across floating logs that serves as a centerpiece. Al Pacino's performance is a tour de force; Nolan enhances the actor's bleary-eyed wariness by splicing in dizzy visual flashes and the persistent haunting images that prevent sleep. Robin Williams gives an understated performance, not the "serial killer" some press outlets dubbed him, rather an ordinary man who crosses a line and then slouches toward instability while covering it up. The perky earnestness of Hilary Swank's character somewhat masks her good performance, but she is doing subtle work, too, her hero worship gradually deteriorating into a jaded loss of innocence. Not all plot elements work or justify their inclusion, but that's one of the few missteps by this accomplished piece of popular filmmaking.
Entertainment Weekly
[Nolan] is a filmmaker in full control of mood, tone, and pacing, to whom actors as wildly different as Pacino and Williams can entrust their best instincts, rather than their showiest. Lisa Schwarzbaum
New York Times
Intensely sharp-witted remake of the noir thriller Insomnia. Elvis Mitchell
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
1/2
Unlike most remakes, the Nolan Insomnia is not a pale retread, but a re-examination of the material, like a new production of a good play.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/13/2010
UPC:
0883929108985
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:58:00
Sales rank:
13,934

Special Features

Additional scenes; Commentaries:; -Director Christopher Nolan (commentary in order of shooting sequence); -Hilary Swank, production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Dody Dorn, cinematographer Wally Pfister and screenwriter Hillary Seitz; 4 featurettes: ; -Day for Night: Making the movie ; -180°: A conversation with Christopher Nolan and Al Pacino; -In the Fog: Cinematography and production design; -Eyes Wide Open: The insomniac's world; Stills gallery; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Al Pacino Det. Will Dormer
Robin Williams Walter Finch
Hilary Swank Ellie Burr
Maura Tierney Rachel Clement
Martin Donovan Hap Eckhart
Nicky Katt Fred Duggar
Paul Dooley Chief Charles Nyback
Larry Holden Farrell
Katharine Isabelle Tanya Francke
Jonathan Jackson Randy Stetz
Malcom Boddington Principle
Jay Brazeau Francis
Andrew Campbell Officer #2
Lorne Cardinal Rich
Chris Guthior Uniformed Officer
James Hutson Officer #1
Ken Kirzinger Stunt Coordinator
Crystal Lowe Kay Connell
Emily Perkins Girl At Funeral
Kate Robbins Woman On The Road
Kerry Sandomirsky Trish Eckhart
Paula Shaw Coroner
Tasha Simms Mrs. Connell
Ian Tracey Warfield
Dean Wray Ticket Taker
Oliver "Ole" Zemen Pilot
Nick Ingman Conductor

Technical Credits
Christopher Nolan Director
Derek Baskerville Costumes/Costume Designer
Susan Brouse Casting
Teresa Brummitt Costumes/Costume Designer
Rick Burgess Stunts
Shawn C. Stunts
John Caglione Makeup
Yves Cameron Stunts
Lynne Carrow Casting
Lauro Chartrand Stunts
Dean Choe Stunts
George Clooney Executive Producer
Ben Cosgrove Associate Producer
Nathan Crowley Production Designer
Duane Dickinson Stunts
Michael Diner Art Director
Dody Dorn Editor
Martyn Harry Musical Arrangement
Norma Hill-Patton Makeup
Yvette Jackson Stunts
Ron James Stunts
Broderick Johnson Producer
David Julyan Score Composer
Kristene Kenward Stunts
Andrew Kosove Producer
Peter Lando Set Decoration/Design
Vincent Lascoumes Asst. Director
Marci Liroff Casting
Kit Mallet Stunts
Edward L. McDonnell Producer
Cheri Minns Makeup
Mike Mitchell Stunts
Tish Monaghan Costumes/Costume Designer
Gary J. Morneau Camera Operator
Wally Pfister Cinematographer
Kim Roth Executive Producer
Jacob Rupp Stunts
Charles Schlissel Executive Producer
Hillary Seitz Screenwriter
Steven Soderbergh Executive Producer
Larry Sutton Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
Tony Thomas Executive Producer
Emma Thomas Co-producer
Marshall Virtue Stunts
Steven P. Wegner Associate Producer
Wendy S. Williams Production Manager
Paul Junger Witt Producer

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