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2001 neo-noir film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Guy Pearce

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Memento is well thought out.

  • Sep 14, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+5
Rarely have I watched a film that demanded that I pay such rapt attention to detail. Its series of segments, progressively reveal more of what happened but in backwards order. I had to expend a lot of mental energy comparing the events in each segment and piecing together what I thought actually happened. This method of filming alone is challenging but especially so given the main character's mental limitations. It is worth energy to figure out though!

For those who don't know, "Memento" is a story of a man who loses his wife in a rape attack inside their home, pledging that he will track down a murderer for revenge and peace of mind. The main problem is that Lenny (Guy Peirce), after the attack, was left with a problem in that he cannot retain any long term memories. Well that's one brief summary of how to look at it, but there are others. Indeed this film is excellent and played with my emotions, emotions of sympathy, anger and questioning my own morals and judgments. Peirce is exceptional as the lead, and the characters that come into contact with him also give fine performances (notably Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano). Focusing on the problem of losing a memory after approximately 15 minutes, we begin to appreciate just how frustrating Lennys plight is.

The film is beautifully shot and the editing and photography is even better. The best part: the film starts at the end and works it way to a middle point. That's because when the film comes to its end you really don't know if it's the beginning since you don't know what Leonard (Guy Pierce) did before arriving at an isolated place. This film can really be seen as reminiscent of the film style of Film Noir. It uses black and white scenes to give that off as well as the characters in the film constantly sucking Leonard further down into this world where he has no idea who and what to believe, including himself and the things he's done. Not only that but all the characters, yes even Leonard who is our protagonist, has a dark side of human nature to them. And that's what Film Noir is, exposing the dark side of human nature. The film has such a great Psychological deepness and by all means breaks the conventional art that goes into filmmaking. It really was a shame this film wasn't nominated for best picture. It greatly deserved that award and Nolan greatly deserved best director for it. Bottom line: Flat-out brilliant film-making and story-telling. One of the best films I've ever seen. I don't throw high ratings around but this one deserves 5 stars.

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More Memento reviews
review by . March 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     Reverse-chronological story-telling isn't anything too new, but let me tell you; reverse-chronological story-telling, as told by Christopher Nolan, IS indeed quite new to all of us. Nolan typically enjoys challenging his audience with his mind-games, and this is one of his first grand masterpieces. He's had a damn good career so far; and "Memento" essentially put him on the map as a twisty, psychological genius. "Memento" is his best film, among others; gritty, …
review by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
In the late 90's a young film maker by the name of Christopher Nolan was sharing ideas with his brother Johnathan Nolan.  During this time, Johnathan was working on a short story called Memento Mori.  An idea that Christopher Nolan liked.  They spend time sending the story back and forth to one another making changes and edits whenever they felt it possible.  After a while, Christopher Nolan decided it wouldn't make such a bad movie.  From that short story he was …
Quick Tip by . February 03, 2011
Can you really tell a story backwards and have the viewer still able to follow it. Memento succeeds, amazingly.
review by . July 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   Memento is one of those rare movies that is both entertaining and educational at the same time.  Chris Nolan’s minimalist style and set up make the most out of a stellar premise to craft a movie that is highly thrilling and dramatic, in none of the traditional Hollywood senses of the words.  Guy Pierce’s best work, in my opinion, comes in this film in his portrayal of Leonard, who suffers from short-term memory loss.  Short-term memory loss is a real issue …
Quick Tip by . October 01, 2010
A film to be watched again and again. Nothing quite like it. Not one for watchers who can't concentrate. Complex and consistent.
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Christopher Nolan best work. A masterpiece of film. Amazing piece of writing combined with great editing and acting.
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Great concept from an amazingly smart director. It is nice to go to movies that do a little bit of brain flexing. On top of that Guy Pearce, one of the best below-the-radar actors, nails the role. A must see.
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Great concept from an amazingly smart director. It is nice to go to movies that do a little bit of brain flexing. On top of that Guy Pearce, one of the best below-the-radar actors, nails the role. A must see.
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
-What Prompted You to write a Review?   This Movie to me really stands out among all the rest of the clutter. It takes a different approach to storytelling. Instead of the traditional forward-organizational-storytelling this starts from the end and builds up to the beginning, all the way keeping the audience interested.     -How was the Plot, Acting, Direction?   Acting overall was good, but the part played by Guy Pearce was Superb, he played his part perfectly …
review by . March 15, 2009
I loved this movie... so much so that I made it my screen name :). And I'm surprised that so many people haven't seen it, nearly a decade after its release.    Looking around at the world of film today, it's hard to find any fresh ideas. Memento has that freshness... by the metric ton. What a concept! A movie told in reverse chronological order, it's plot line places you inside of Lenny's (played by Guy Pearce) head... so much so that you actually become Lenny and experience …
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Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … more
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Wiki

MEMENTO, the second feature by writer-director Christopher Nolan (FOLLOWING), is an intricately constructed film noir that masterfully inverts time to comment on the foggy relationship between memory and truth. MEMENTO tells the story of Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), a former insurance investigator who witnesses a brutal attack on his wife. Knocked unconscious, Leonard wakes up with a rare brain condition--he no longer possesses short-term memory. He can remember his name and all the details of his past, but he can no longer make new memories. Armed with a careful system of remembering details (he compulsively snaps Polaroids and scribbles notes, then tattoos the important facts directly onto his body), the distraught Leonard goes on a manhunt to avenge his wife's death. To illustrate the unique and frightening state of the protagonist's mind (he cannot remember what happened even seconds before), Nolan takes a brilliantly successful risk in telling the story backwards. The film begins with Leonard killin...
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Details

Director: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 2001, January 19, 2001
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 1hr 56min
Studio: Columbia Pictures
First to Review

"Thrilling."
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