Insomnia in 35mm

Christopher Nolan · 2002
118min · 35mm
  • Thursday, Jun 8, 2023, 7:00pm
  • Saturday, Jun 10, 2023, 3:00pm
  • Sunday, Jun 11, 2023, 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Jun 13, 2023, 7:00pm

Christopher Nolan’s first major studio movie—and, according to the man himself, his most underrated film—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.

Part of our …before the case cracks you film series.

Al Pacino stars as Los Angeles detective Will Dormer who, while under the scrutiny of an Internal Affairs investigation back home, travels with his partner (Martin Donovan) to a fishing village in 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, Walter Finch (Robin Williams, who, along with his work in ONE HOUR PHOTO, had one heck of a standout year). Finch just happens to have witnessed Dormer committing an ethically compromised act in the line of duty and wants to talk blackmail. On top of that, Dormer has to contend with the increasingly tenuous grasp he has on his own sanity due to a severe lack of sleep, along with a local officer (Hilary Swank) tasked to investigate his actions.

“Pacino, his creased face looking like it’s been aged in a smokehouse, is wonderfully bleary as the increasingly confused Dormer… He’s on the edge of madness, and Pacino isn’t afraid to totter.” Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times

“Unlike most remakes, the Nolan Insomnia is not a pale retread, but a re-examination of the material, like a new production of a good play. Pacino and Williams are very good together. In this film… Williams reminds us that he is a considerable dramatic talent…” Roger Ebert