Inception (2010, Warner Bros.)
In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job to date: Inception.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Ellen Page. Written & Directed by Christopher Nolan. Produced by Christopher Nolan & Emma Thomas.
Christopher Nolan is quickly becoming my favorite director. His movies are inventive, layered, well constructed and, most of all, larger than life. But you also might want to take notes as you watch because his stories are nonlinear and take time to unravel. If a basic movie storyline were a number line, 1 – 10, Inception’s number line might read: 8, 3, 1, x, zeta, 9, 4, 3 again…you get the point. This is why I love his movies. They’re fascinating to watch come together.
I can’t and won’t even try to dive deeper into the script of Inception because I don’t even know how to explain half of it.
Inception is a challenging, abstract story that relies on the visual as well as the dialogue to make sense. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, the conflicted leader of a formidable crew on a subconscious caper. The plot twists, turns, flips on its head and bends all manner of time and space. Yet DiCaprio and crew navigate this elaborate script through all the jumps and kicks. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, best known from Third Rock many years ago, proves himself able to hang with the heavyweights. He also takes part in one of the most unique and exciting fight scenes I’ve ever seen.
In all, the cast earns high marks for their work. But unlike the Dark Knight, where acting drove the story, Nolan is clearly driving the train in Inception. With his familiar team in tow—cinematographer Wally Pfister, editor Lee Smith and composer Hans Zimmer—Nolan’s vision jumps off the screen with dramatic brilliance. Nolan and crew have established a unique vibe in recent years and I’m convinced they could take any script with any cast and making it something exciting.
But for my money, Inception is a worthy Best Picture nominee and a definite frontrunner for Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Inception Nolan’s fascinating and thrilling world and I loved spending time in it. Next time I’ll remember to carry a totem.
***-1/2 stars (out of five)
Strictly on a sidenote: it was bittersweet to see Pete Postlethwaite in Inception. He died earlier this year of cancer. Postlethwaite is one of those character actors who simply has a great and memorable face for movies. I loved him in The Usual Suspects and The Shipping News.