Inception:: A Well Crafted Movie

I like movies that reflect my life, I think we all do.  The only way in which Inception reflects my life is that, like the main characters, I too dream.  None the less, it is a facinatingly riviting movie.  It’s Ocean’s 11 set in the world of the subconscious.  I predict that it will be nominated for several academy awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Special effects and writing.  Although the acting was superb, I don’t imagine that it will get any nods, but at this point in the year, that’s a really hard thing to guess about.

The story is complex and yet very simple.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt play “dream pirates”, if you will.  They are paid to go into someone’s dream and mine their subconscious for marketable ideas.  Then one of their clients asks if it is possible to plant an idea in someone’s head making him think it was his own, “inception” in other words.  The concept is facinating and the complications are mulled over much like one would in a complicated heist movie.  Except here the take is someone’s free will in a way.  It’s logical, as well as fanciful, the right balance between realism and imagination. The science is barely explained, but that seems on purpose somehow.  The whole movies comes across like a very detailed dream.

We learn precious little about the characters, but it hardly seems to matter.  I was 75% of the way through the movie’s two and a half hours (which fly by, believe me) before I realized that I had no idea what DiCaprio’s character was even named (IMdb says it’s Cobb, but I could have sworn it was Tom, Tom Cobb maybe?), I laughed, because I honestly didn’t care.  This movie is written like a symphony and paced like a world class opera.  It has highs and lows in all of the right places.  Although it is fairly serious, there are some good comedic moments.  The cinematography is like a work of art, a work of M.C. Escher art.  The special effects are dazzling without being showy, and that is an insanely thin tight rope few movies have walked well.

The whole cast is stellar with a small role for Michael Caine.  The cast works well together even if the characters don’t.  There is a nice little gem of characterization in which Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character, Arthur, and Tom Hardy’s Eames, don’t really like each other.  A rich history between them is hinted at but never revealed and I found it very funny and more realistic than everyone magically getting along.  Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard area wonderful additions to this pile of men that are the main cast.  Ellen plays the perfect balance of innocence and wisdom, while Cotillard is mildly sinister in a way only a gorgeous french woman can be.

In true Christopher Nolan fashion the end of the movie lends itself to joyful frustration.  The whole movie is so wonderfully disorienting (much likeMemento) that when my husband and my father saw it together they found themselves feeling like they were still in the movie due to a surprise summer thunder storm that before they went into the movie was nowhere in sight.  I had a similar sensation when I saw Memento with my husband (then just a promising date).  I didn’t know then what I know now about the man I married, which was that he often silently wanders off.  So here I was in the lobby of the Leammle Santa Monica reading movie posters still feeling dizzy from the end of Memeto when I look up and see that I am alone.  I was genuinely convinced that I might have always been alone at that movie and just forgot.  He had wandered off to the bathroom and returned shortly, but I was very taken by how much Nolan had messed with my mind; and I loved it!

Inception is one of those movies that are better in the theater, but really, see it anyway you can.  It doesn’t teach you how to be a better person, it has very little in the way of a moral tale, in fact I don’t see how it would improve your life one bit, it’s just awesome.

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