Mind Over Matter: The Films of Christopher Nolan

Insomnia

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Insomnia
Christopher Nolan, 2002
USA/Canada | Format: 35mm | 118 minutes

Nolan’s first Hollywood assignment—and the only one of his films on which he didn’t receive a writing credit—was this superb remake of the 1997 Norwegian thriller about an embattled, sleep-deprived cop pursuing a killer in a small arctic town where the sun never sets. Al Pacino stars as Los Angeles detective Will Dormer (a play on the French dormir, “to sleep”) who, while under the scrutiny of an Internal Affairs investigation at home, travels with his partner (Martin Donovan) to the fishing village of Nightmute, Alaska, where they’ve been asked to assist local police in investigating the murder of a 17-year-old girl. The trail eventually winds its way to a local crime fiction writer (Robin Williams), who just happens to have witnessed Dormer committing an ethically compromised act in the line of duty and wants to talk blackmail. Featuring Pacino and Williams in their best, most restrained performances in at least a decade, Insomnia finds Nolan at ease working with big stars and with his first big budget, without sacrificing any of his abiding interest in psychologically scarred protagonists and the complex workings of the human mind.

Series: Mind Over Matter: The Films of Christopher Nolan

Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

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