Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Mystery, Thriller
  • 2000
  • 113 mins

Memento

Memento

Synopsis

Straightforward revenge flick that goes backwards. Then sideways. An audacious exploration of memory loss starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss and some stunning tattoos

About

Essentially, Memento is a straightforward revenge flick with Guy Pearce's Leonard tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. But this standard plot comes with an ingenious twist. Brain damage Leonard sustained during the attack has left him with the memory of a goldfish. He forgets conversations he had two minutes ago. He doesn't know if the man sitting next to him is his best friend or sworn enemy. He can't even remember if the bottle of Scotch he's clutching is to get him pissed or to bash over the head of his assailant. What assailant? Exactly.

His confusion intensifies when he gets caught up with drug dealers who readily abuse his condition. He's developed a system of cataloguing events and characters from his investigations with Polaroids, charts and tattoos (allowing for repeated exposure of the Pearce torso) but these are just as susceptible to manipulation, and finding the real killer becomes increasingly tricky.

Christopher Nolan's audacious conceit necessitates the plot to run backwards, starting with Leonard killing the man he thinks is guilty and slowly revealing whether or not he picked the right target.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Callum Keith Rennie, Mark Boone Junior, Harriet Samson Harris, Guy Pearce, Stephen Tobolowsky, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Screen Writer: Christopher Nolan
  • Writer (Story): Jonathan Nolan
  • Producer: Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd
  • Photographer: Wally Pfister
  • Composer: David Julyan

In a nutshell

Occasionally the film trips over its own complexity, but it's tense, devious and evokes Leonard's disorientation quite brilliantly. Operation of heavy machinery after watching is a definite no-no.

Nolan on Memento

Please wait while this video loads. If it doesn't load after a few seconds you may need to have Adobe Flash installed.

Watch

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Baggage Claim

    Paula Patton stars in writer-director David E Talbert's romcom about a woman's desperate hunt to find herself a husband.

  • Film4

    Metallica: Through The Never

    Director Nimród Antal and cinematographer Gyula Pados blend fact and fiction as they capture an obscure live Metallica concert in North America.

    On Film4: 30 Apr 11:10PM

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2016: 10 Picks

    Film4.com site editor and festival newbie Michael Leader selects ten films from the Official Selection at this year's Cannes Film Festival that he can't wait to see... Go easy on me, I'm new around t

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2016: 10 picks

    Catherine Bray runs her eye over this year¿s line-up and selects ten films she can¿t wait to watch at the 69th Cannes Film Festival The official line-up is now locked and loaded, so time to have a ru

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share