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insomniablu_shot42lInsomnia is director Christopher Nolan’s first film since last year’s Memento, and it is a stunner. In this remake of a Norwegian film made in 1998 by Erik Skjoldbjaerg, Nolan has cast three Oscar winners – Al Pacino and Hillary Swank play police officers chasing down a dangerous psychopath played by Robin Williams. Nolan set the film in Alaska, and makes good use of the location, particularly in the opening credit sequence as the camera follows a two-engine prop plane across the unforgiving jagged ice ridges. A foot chase on moving logs provides excitement, but the best thrills here are psychological. This is a film for adults. Insomnia is a serious thriller that relies not only on action, but on issues of guilt and morality to propel the story. Al Pacino hands in his best performance in years, although his accent seems to change from one scene to another. Robin Williams impresses, playing the homicidal Walter Finch with a chilling intensity that should forever put an end to the Mrs. Doubtfire typecasting pit he fell into in the 90s. Swank as the smart small-town cop delivers a multi-layered performance that is completely believable.

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