Memento

Memento

4.7 47
Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Christopher Nolan, Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

     
 

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A man is determined to find justice after the loss of a loved one, even though he is incapable of fully remembering the crime, in this offbeat thriller. Leonard (Guy Pearce) is a man who is struggling to put his life back together after the brutal rape and murder of his wife. But Leonard's problems are different from those of most people in his situation; he was… See more details below

Overview

A man is determined to find justice after the loss of a loved one, even though he is incapable of fully remembering the crime, in this offbeat thriller. Leonard (Guy Pearce) is a man who is struggling to put his life back together after the brutal rape and murder of his wife. But Leonard's problems are different from those of most people in his situation; he was beaten severely by the same man who killed his wife. The most significant manifestation of Leonard's injuries is that his short-term memory has been destroyed; he is incapable of retaining any new information, and must resort to copious note-taking and Polaroid photographs in order to keep track of what happens to him over the course of a day (he's even tattooed himself with a few crucial bits of information he can't get along without). Leonard retains awareness that his wife was brutally murdered, however, and he's convinced that the culprit still walks the streets. Leonard is obsessed with the notion of taking revenge against the man who has ruined his life, and he sets out to find him, getting help from Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), who appears to be a sympathetic barmaid, and Teddy (Joe Pantoliano), who claims to be Leonard's friend, even though Leonard senses that he cannot be trusted. Writer/director Christopher Nolan adapted Memento from a short story by his brother Jonathan Nolan.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Plot twisting reaches new heights in Memento, writer/director Christopher Nolan's critically acclaimed neo-noir thriller about a man whose obsessive quest to catch his wife's rapist-murderer is hampered by an odd neurological affliction: He has no short-term memory. Memento milks this unusual idea for all it's worth, as the hero, Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), struggles to keep track of the people and places he encounters -- and then almost immediately forgets -- using hand-captioned Polaroid photos and an array of messages he tattoos onto his body. The film cleverly challenges narrative conventions by telling its story in reverse, moving backward, step by step, through the series of recent, violent events that Shelby has lived through but can't remember. Pearce brings an element of dark humor to his role, as Shelby struggles with his pathological forgetfulness while the characters around him exploit his affliction to various self-serving ends. Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix) shines as an oily acquaintance who treats Shelby with amused exasperation, and whose relationship to Shelby is a key to the unfolding mystery. But the film's unusual structure is really the star here, exploring with Swiss-watch precision the impaired point of view of its protagonist, for whom life has become a never-ending series of plot twists and fades to black. The Columbia TriStar DVD includes and interview with Nolan, theatrical trailers, a TV spot, and a tattoo gallery.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
Christopher Nolan's crafty, twisty thriller builds itself on the foundation of film noirs past and present, but what gives it its own special kick is Nolan's steadfast determination against sentimentalizing his characters or subject, which immediately gives the film turf credibility. Memento is built on a device that doesn't always work in other pictures -- the narrative is told in reverse -- but here it has a pulsating life all its own. Nolan's taut screenplay and inventive direction find the nasty heart of the central tale, and the cast members offer juicy performances -- especially the versatile Guy Pearce, who manages a convincing zigzag of emotions and attitudes. One could argue that Memento is a bit too cold to truly mesmerize, but even for its chilliness, the film works as a labyrinthine entertainment. Its smart sensibility and willingness to embrace the best of its noir origins is what makes it memorable. This film was the toast of the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, picking up the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award -- though many carped it should have taken additional prizes.
Village Voice - J. Hoberman
The video stores are filled with examples of retro-noir and neo-noir, but Christopher Nolan's audacious timebender is something else. Call it meta-noir.
New York Times - A.O. Scott
A brilliant feat of rug-pulling, sure to delight fans of movies like The Usual Suspects and Pi.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/22/2011
UPC:
0031398125297
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:53:00

Special Features

Commentary with director Christopher Nolan ; Remembering Memento; Anatomy of a scene; IFC interview with writer/director Christopher Nolan ; "Memento Mori" - short story by Jonathan Nolan; Tattoo sketches ; Leonard's journal

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Guy Pearce Leonard Shelby
Carrie-Anne Moss Natalie
Joe Pantoliano Teddy
Stephen Tobolowsky Sammy
Mark Boone Burt
Harriet Sansom Harris Mrs. Jankis
Callum Keith Rennie Dodd
Russ Fega Actor
Jorja Fox Catherine Shelby
Thomas Lennon Doctor

Technical Credits
Christopher Nolan Director,Screenwriter
Danielle Berman Set Decoration/Design
Dody Dorn Editor
Elaine Dysinger Co-producer
Cindy Evans Costumes/Costume Designer
William Fiege Sound/Sound Designer
David Julyan Score Composer
Jonathan Nolan Original Story
John Papsidera Casting
Wally Pfister Cinematographer
Patti Podesta Production Designer
Aaron Ryder Executive Producer
Emma Thomas Associate Producer
Jennifer Todd Producer
Suzanne Todd Producer

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