Code-name: Dream (x 4)
Director: Christopher Nolan
Type: Sci-fi, drama
Cobb- Leonardo DiCaprio
Arthur- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Ariadne- Ellen Page
Eames- Tom Hardy
Saito- Ken Watanabe
Yusuf- Dileep Rao
Robert Fischer- Cillian Murphy
Mal- Marion Cotillard
Miles- Michael Caine
Notable Awards & Nominations:
AFI- Best Film of the Year
OSCAR- Best Cinematography
OSCAR- Best Sound Editing
OSCAR- Best Sound Mixing
OSCAR- Best Visual Effects
Nomination-OSCAR- Best Picture
Nomination-OSCAR-Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer)
Nomination-OSCAR- Best Original Screenplay (Christopher Nolan)
Nomination-OSCAR- Best Art Direction
Nomination- Golden Globe- Best Picture (Drama)
Nomination- Golden Globe- Best Director (Christopher Nolan)
Nomination- Golden Globe- Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer)
Nomination- Golden Globe- Best Original Screenplay (Christopher Nolan)
[For Many] The Stand-Out Film of 2010
What a year that was for movies.
I went to the theater 23 times and I more or less became a movie nerd in the process.
Ironically, this being one of the biggest hits and "movies that got people talking," I didn't see it until it premiered on HBO. The same was true with "The Social Network," which I didn't see until it premiered on FX. In both cases, I loved the movies and it was worth the wait. Unfortunately, "The Social Network" just missed making my list, but I'd been meaning to rewatch it.
Every year, there's always a movie people are talking about, asking if you saw it or if you're going to see it (and if you're one of the lucky few, how you liked it).
At the Oscars, it set the tone for "Hugo" and "Life of Pi," in that it procured almost all of the technical awards and missed out on the BIG wins (although Ang Lee won for directing "Life of Pi").
Why didn't I go to see it? I'm not sure. I certainly wasn't frugal with getting tickets. I was skeptical about "The Social Network," afraid of going there and being disappointed with what it had to offer.
How I'd Describe It...
This is the type of cinematic wonder that obtains one of two reactions:
"WTF was that all about?"
"Dude, that was freaking awesome."
In other words, a love it/hate it type of movie.
For me, it was "freaking awesome" and I loved it.
The type of movie you kinda have to see multiple times just to get a better grasp on understanding it. I still don't, but that's okay.
I'm not the type of movie-goer that needs every literal thing explained to them. Additionally, I like to think of myself as someone who takes weirdness and unrealism very well.
Up front, I'll say that if you haven't seen it yet (no worries, I won't wag my finger at the people who haven't), you should be prepared to leave with more questions than answers. Not all is explained. It's more or less left up to interpretation.
Props to the Acting Department
tread lightly, spoilers are afoot
Before I get any further with that, I want to applaud Christopher Nolan for putting together something I actually enjoyed watching :-P I'm in the minority of those who loathe the Dark Knight series, so it's nice there's at least one movie I enjoy from him.
The latest "Dark Knight," I liked more than its predecessor by quite a bit, but I'm still a Marvel fan-girl all the way.
Other than that, the only other Christopher Nolan film I'd watched was "The Prestige." Which I'd been meaning to see, but I just didn't like it. Neither of the two leads had any redeeming qualities, but because I hate his "Batman," I was extra pissed Christian Bale came out on top.
I am grateful, though, that he put together such a good cast for this... and proceeded to bring a couple of them to the latest "Dark Knight," where they consequently stole the show 8-)
As I may have mentioned in my Gatsby entry, it's good to see Leonardo DiCaprio in something I can enjoy. He's a handsome actor and I always harp on the fact he doesn't do movies I'd consider to be "my type." Most of the time, he's in dramas either too serious for my liking or take place in another time/place I don't care to visit.
"Catch me if you can" was a good movie and I enjoyed Leo as the lead, but it isn't a perfect compromise.
(Side-note: Considering how far I'd come as a movie nerd in recent years and that I'd seen several movies by my favorite actors despite less-than-perfect typing, maybe I should consider revisiting or at least doing more research into his resume)
Marion Cotillard would steal my heart in another film further down this list.
Although we only see her character as a phantom in Cobb's dreams, we wonder what happened to her and why she seems to be the one thing standing between Cobb and realizing his ultimate goal: finishing this way of life so he can reunite with his kids.
Ellen Page, everyone saw in "Juno," and as the newest member of this organization, she's the one asking all the hard questions and apparently the only one willing to go all the way through Inception to help Cobb.
She reminds me of a few characters I'd written myself: newcomers to a previously set dynamic of people who ask why things are as they are and feel the need to effect change.
Ariadne derives from Greek mythology as the daughter of the king who established the labyrinth, and after defeating the Minotaur, Theseus runs away with her.
That being said, her character is hired as the new "architect" for the group- someone who creates the maze of the dream world, able to navigate it easily while leaving the enemy unable to escape.
I believe she's hired because Cobb can't be the architect for this final job, seeing as the ghost of his wife Mal always creeps back into his subconscious and throws off the mission.
Although we see less of him as the movie goes on, my favorite contributor was Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I personally hadn't seen him since "Angels in the Outfield," so that alone was mind-blowing. Arthur is Cobb's right-hand man and the only person willing to clue Ariadne in about Cobb's problem with his wife.
It's hard to put it into words exactly, but I really do enjoy watching this guy act. There's just something about his presence. (As a result, I saw "50/50" in theaters and loved him in the latest "Dark Knight").
Let's see if I Got This Right...
I'll explain this the best I can without giving too much away.
Truthfully, this is the type of movie you have to see to believe. Plus, I'd had to set the wrong precedent by fudging the explanation.
For the best explanations, feel free to check out IMDB or Wikipedia... my go-to sources for the movies I don't know like the back of my hand :-P or ones I simply haven't seen in a while and have no means to revisit before the entry date.
Cobb is an "extractor," who steals thoughts and ideas from people in their dreams.
For this last job, his job is to PLANT an idea. According to him, it's a parasite. "Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate."
They're hired by Saito to accomplish "Inception"... constructing a dream within a dream (and so on) to plant an idea in the head of his competitor, Fischer (Cillian Murphy). His father recently passed so it's up to him to figure out what to do with the company.
The idea Saito wants them to plant is "I want to split up the company."... therefore, Saito's company will dominate that particular market.
Eventually, this is accomplished through several levels of dreaming and Cobb's personal life adds to the complexity of the job.
Cobb's group and Fischer are on a long flight as they're pulling the job. All of them are sedated.
In the first dream, they're in a van driving somewhere. Meanwhile, cars are chasing them, manifestations of Fischer's subconscious trying to defend itself against their intrusion. Everyone but the driver (Yusuf, because the dreamer must be awake to maintain the conditions of that particular realm) is put under sedation.
In the second dream, they're at a hotel. The next layer is set-up and Arthur is in charge of everything running smoothly.
In the third dream, they're outdoors in Calgary.
An additional layer is required, Eames taking care of matters, and Ariadne and Cobb are left deal with Mal.
From there, it's out of my hands to attempt to explain it all.
The storyline with Cobb and Mal is eventually explained.
Supposedly the two of them spent several years in a dream-world they created with their memories. But he convinced her that "the world we're in isn't real." Inception was achieved, but at a cost.
She was left to believe their world isn't real, so she committed suicide to prove this to him... ultimately she dies for real, but the fact he did this to her haunts him to this day.
Other than being hard to explain, the only downfall of the movie was the ending... which took me a little while to "get"... it fell kinda flat for me.
One Final Thing..
I cannot finish this entry without addressing Edith Piaf's "Non, je ne regrette rien."
This song is played throughout the movie, mainly as the signal to the dreamers that it's time to wake up. Or to the people controlling the dreams, it's time to set up the "kick," the motion needed to shake people out their dream state.
After seeing this movie, it was impossible for me to hear the song without thinking of it :-P
About as contagious and hard to eradicate an idea out of your head once you have... tee-hee