Let’s Talk About…Inception
INCEPTION (2010/IN THEATERS)
To: Rebecca Lenzini
From: Brian McClelland
How’d Inception work for you, Becky? After a single overwhelming/exhilarating viewing—one which immediately leaves you anticipating the next viewing, if only to help tie all of the plot strings together in your exhausted brain—I was knocked out by this sucker. I’m a fan of what director Christopher Nolan has done thus far (minus allowing Christian Bale to nearly ruin one of the strongest franchises going with that *shudder* “voice”), but the wholly original world he has created here is a bold, artistic, and thrilling achievement. The crazy dream world effects—which I was expecting to overwhelm the story, or perhaps BECOME the story, Avatar-style—were integral to the action and plot in such a way that has rarely been achieved in film. One of the strongest Best Picture contenders so far, I’d say.
I was also impressed with Leonardo DiCaprio for once! His performance as a dream thief that infiltrates the dreams of others in order to steal their secrets (and why go further than that in explaining this plot? Yes, it sounds stupid, but go with it) worked for me in a way that most of his performances do not. I am just never able to buy that guy as an actual character, which tends to leave me cold toward many of his films that friends of mine tell me I should like but don’t. (I’m always like DUDE! Those are SO not *great* Martin Scorsese films. And they’re always like Whaaaat!) Maybe his performance was aided somewhat by this cracking ensemble support cast. While Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s dapper turn as DiCaprio’s unflappable right-hand man was my fave of the bunch, there is simply not a single weak link in this chain of Oscar winners and noms. (Btw, did you remember that Tom Berenger, who has a smaller but pivotal role, was once an Oscar nom? I barely remember there was a Tom Berenger.) My Grade: A!
PS, Have you read any of those internerd posts comparing this to the Matrix films? That is something I would discourage, if only because the Matrix movies are the worst. I was quite pleased that nowhere in Inception did there appear Sir Larry Fisher in that stupid coat/shades combo. Oy.
PPS, I recommend thumbin’ through the FAQ and Trivia links on Inception’s IMDB page. There will undoubtedly be untold GB’s of bandwidth dedicated to the lively debating of this sucker’s labyrinth plot twists and there already seems to be some reasonably intelligent stuff to be found therein—just avoid the user reviews and bulletin board stuff. As usual, those sections of IMDB are only good for a few sad chuckles.
My word for this movie is WOW! I was prepared to find it lukewarm, based on my reaction to the previews and some of what I had read. But it was fantastic. I saw it with a group of friends who are all middle-aged women—surely not the target audience—and yet we were uniformly impressed and frankly exhausted from all the action and from desperately following the “dream levels.” I agree wholeheartedly with your comments regarding Leonardo—he was more than convincing. Marion Cotillard cannot hit a wrong note in any movie, IMHO. She brought honest to God pathos to the film. What a genius Christopher Nolan is. Who was the art director?? His brother? Will have to look that up.
Please add any interesting links in the comments. I would love to read more about this one.
Hugs to you,