Well, I guess you can cross this off of my Top 10 Critically Acclaimed Films (That I Have Not Seen) list, honorable mention or no. Inception has been claimed by many to be the best film of 2010 and many fanboys were crying afoul when Inception did not win best pictures at the Oscars. Upon watching Inception, I am still unsure if the film was truly worthy of Best Picture. Not that it wasn't an intriguing ride, because it was, but since I haven't seen what did win Best Picture (Hurt Locker, I think it was), I can't say for sure.
Pessimistic note: the trailers made this part look cooler than it actually was. Sorry folks.
The story of Inception is pretty messed up. Technology now exists where people can invade people's dreams to steal ideas and Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the best in the business. However, he carries a lot of emotional baggage and a man named Saito (Ken Watanabe) offers him one last job: instead of stealing an idea from a competitor (Cillian Murphy), plant an idea and split the empire his father (Pete Postlethwaite *squee moment*) built, eliminating him as competition. DiCaprio assembles his team and then mindfucks occur.
I'm not exactly doing cartwheels around my friend's living room in an emotional frenzy going, "OMIGAWD, INCEPTION IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER AND I HAVE SUCH A HARD-ON FOR CHRISTOPHER NOLAN!!!!" Like I said, Inception is a good movie for many reasons but there's a lot to this movie. Christopher Nolan has an interesting method of film making and likes to toy with your head so that you stick around to see what the hell's going on. This is not a bad thing, mind you, but with the case of Inception, sometimes it's a little hard to follow...or at least it was for me because while I was watching it, I was also taking notes for things to talk about in this very review, so maybe I missed something.
The look of this film is great. Everything is shot so superbly that even if the plot was paper thin (which it isn't), at least it had cinematography on its side. It's really hard to explain them any further than that. You really have to see it for yourself. The performances here are solid, as per usual with what I've seen of Nolan's work (which admittedly is limited to Batman Begins & The Dark Knight) and if people are bitching about Leonardo DiCaprio, I wanna know what kind of fucking crack they're smoking.
Cobb sharing a moment with his wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard).
There's two things that I want to touch base on before I wrap this up. First off is the stuff between Cobb & his wife. I do not want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen this film yet (all five of you), but this is probably what stood out the most for me. The scenes between DiCaprio & Cotillard are painful, but not in the bad way. The dilemma that Cobb is having with Mal is genuinely heartbreaking and I'm not sure if it was the dialogue, the actors saying them or a combination of the two, but there were scenes where I almost shed a tear or two. Another thing that really stood out to me was how the film ended. My experience with Nolan's film endings were fairly simple, but this one really makes you scratch your head. At one point, they explain how you tell whether or not you're in a dream and the credits abruptly drop in on you before you can conclude if the happy ending is truly happy. It might make some people go, "Oh, man! We want a sequel! We need a conclusive end!" I'm in the crowd that is leaning more towards the idea of an Inception sequel tarnishing this ending. This is the same kind of ending that the story I wrote years ago, Predator: Experimentation, had where the film is letting the audience decide for themselves what the outcome was and a follow-up would just cheapen this simple but very effective ending. Christopher Nolan seems to have a good head on his shoulders and I think he'd tell the studios to stuff it if they tried to push a sequel to this film on him.
"Create a sequel to what? You best be joking, pal."
So, the long and short of it is that Inception was a pretty good movie that had many powerful elements in it. My only gripes would be that the hallway fight that people were going nuts over didn't look at mind blowing as I had hoped and that trying to remember what level of dream they were in was hard to keep track of. Then again, this is just one asshole's opinion and I would still recommend the movie for quality entertainment. Just don't be surprised if you feel afterwards that you'll need to see the movie again to fully understand it, or even fully appreciate it.
P.S. Am I the only one who thinks that Ellen Page looks gorgeous dressed like this instead of her street attire?