LAPD detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino) and his partner (Martin Donovan) arrive in a small town in Alaska to help the local police find the man who killed a teenager. Why would someone like Christopher Nolan (who made the original Memento) turn a Norwegian thriller into a big Hollywood movie? I guess he saw a reason for a remake, and he’s made subtle changes. The atmosphere is unpleasant, the nights stay bright (the Alaska environs are beautiful) and the characters are complex. Pacino and Robin Williams are mesmerizing as the ethically challenged cop and the quiet murderer who spots a soul mate; fascinating conversations between them. 

2002-U.S. 118 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Paul Junger Witt, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove, Edward McDonnell. Directed by Christopher Nolan. Screenplay: Hillary Seitz. Cast: Al Pacino (Will Dormer), Robin Williams (Walter Finch), Hilary Swank (Ellie Burr), Maura Tierney, Martin Donovan, Nicky Katt.

Trivia: Harrison Ford was allegedly considered for the part of Will; Jonathan Demme allegedly considered directing the film. George Clooney co-executive-produced the film.

Last word: “I first approached Warner Bros. about the project before any script was written. I hadn’t made ‘Memento’ at that point so I really wasn’t in a good position to get involved. Hillary Seitz was just about to start writing and had decided to do much the same things in adapting the film as I would have. It was important to where the film was set because we needed 24-hour daylight to make sure the protagonist is very disoriented and follow his progression through the story. When I finally finished ‘Memento’, I came back to Warner Bros. and showed them the film and was able to get on to the ‘Insomnia’ project as the director. I then collaborated with Hillary Seitz on several drafts.” (Nolan, Showbiz Monkeys)



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