By Bruce Fretts
Updated October 18, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Insomnia: Rob McEwan

Much ink has been spilled over Williams’ turn to the dark side with such recent roles as a twisted mystery novelist in Insomnia, ”Memento” director Christopher Nolan’s latest mind-bender. Yet the serial scenery-chewer’s performance isn’t remarkable because it’s so dark, but because it’s so understated. Williams provides the perfect counterpoint to an enjoyably over-the-top Pacino, who affects an odd drawl as a sleep-deprived L.A. cop who’s been summoned to Alaska to consult on a murder investigation. Even Mr. Hoo-ah’s histrionics can’t overshadow ”Insomnia”’s true star — Nolan, who again proves adept at translating his protagonists’ fractured thoughts into hypnotic visuals.