Directed by Christopher Nolan
For more than 11 years, writer/director Christopher Nolan has had drones of people contemplating their own self-existence after watching films like Memento, The Prestige, and his latest to date, Inception. Currently the 31st and 12th (respectively) ranked films on IMDb’s highest rated list, these movies have been overwhelming successes in the public eye. Inception, winner of four Oscars, focuses on a world where dreams can be infiltrated for the benefit of yourself or others. Saito (a wonderful Ken Watanabe), a corporate big shot, wants to plant an idea into the mind of a rival, Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), in order to crush the competition.
The infallible Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, the leader of this “inception” team. He and a group including Arthur (a dull, uncomfortable performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Ariadne (a delightful Ellen Page), and Eames (a charming, amusing Tom Hardy) go three dreams deep (a dream within a dream within a dream) in order to convince Fischer to step down and pursue other business ventures. When the dreams are corrupted, the team must rush their job in order to escape the horrible reality of limbo.
Gordon-Levitt and DiCaprio
Kudos to Christopher Nolan. Writing this flawless, complicated script must have taken years. Some online research tells me that he took approximately ten years from the “inception” of the idea (pun most definitely intended) to the final script (not including the time used to create both Batman films). Filled with action and suspense, romance and even a touch of wit, Inception’s script is a perfect display of writing. At times, the action is reminiscent of James Bond sequences, which is part of the reason Film.com’s interview with Nolan was so fascinating to read.
Since Juno, it seems Ellen Page can do no wrong…okay, so Smart People was kind of lame and I don’t have much desire to see Super, but Whip It was great! Page plays the independent, novice dream weaver, Ariadne, who I’m certain was named after the “most holy” goddess, whose name in Cretan-Greek means “utterly pure,” like her dream world (at least relative to Cobb’s) seems to be.
Watanabe and Cotillard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as I mentioned before, seems less than at ease in his role. He seems much more himself in (500) Days of Summer, which makes me hope that he can find his groove in Nolan’s much-anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, in which Gordon-Levitt will star (it’s worth noting that Inception stars Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, and Michael Cane will also have roles in the film). I will give credit to Levitt for his aerial display in zero gravity, during which he fights a man in one of the film’s most astounding scenes.
Gordon-Levitt shrugged off the stunt man for almost all of his scenes, including this one
With a brilliant cast (they worked together for over 4 months), it’s easy to see why Inception was so critically acclaimed. The film employs a truly ideal amount of complexity, only adding to the invigorating experience. Technically it’s flawless, with seamless editing and a powerful score. Plus, its divisive ending is just begging to be discussed around the figurative water cooler—what do you think about it??
With one mind-bending thrill after another, the suspenseful Inception is a hit, as it should be. Inception is now on Blu-ray and DVD.
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