InceptionDirected by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine and Tom Hardy
Synopsis: An agent possesses the technology to enter people's minds, discovering their deepest secrets and using them for profit. But the mind is a dangerous place where reality is unstable. That's about all the info that the very secretive Nolan and his team are volunteering.
Brought to you by: Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.
Expected release date: July 16, 2010
Robert: I can't imagine not being game for any new Nolan film (or DiCaprio film for that matter), but I wonder if the mystery surrounding this one is for the best? I feel like this might have been even higher on my list if I had a better grasp on what it was. All I know is that there's something to do with dreams and dream logic. This could go either way. Dream logic movies can give their directors free reign to create, unbound by reality. But they can also be a harbinger of unfettered anarchy. Still I trust Nolan. How about you guys? Any idea what we're in for?
Dave: I think the mystery is a smart move. For one, it's about the only thing Nolan - or perhaps rather Warner Bros. - could really do after The Dark Knight to even come close to generating the same kind of interest. He's become one of the biggest directors; treating it like just another film doesn't really make sense with him, at least not this soon. Of course, if it disappoints then the secrecy will look a bit stupid, but it's a risk they couldn't afford not to take.
Batman films) - tricksy, illusive, misleading. I doubt very much that the little the trailer gives away will really translate to the film; it too is probably leading us up the wrong paths. The quote from Nolan about "gravitating towards the analogy of a maze" is really fitting for his general mindset. And I must say it's an approach that just makes me more excited. As long as all the pieces fit together in the end, there's really little I relish more than being played with by a labrynthine plot. You get me in that cinema, I am yours to do with as you wish, and not enough films take advantage of that.
What does worry me is the shift Nolan has been forced to make from the low-key cult status of Memento to the massive high profile he now has. The Prestige didn't really work for me as the plot seemed to become overwhelmed by the visual intricacies of the whole thing. The trailer and the newly released photos give me the same worries for Inception. The cast is very appealing - and I like that he's taking chances on young guys like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy, as well as hopefully breaking Ellen Page out of the kooky indie girl box she'd got stuck in - but the whole playing with horizontals thing makes it seem like the look of the world we're in will take precedence over the feel of existing in it. And I'm more interested in the psychological aspect of whatever dream logic plot unfolds.
Robert: Yeah, the intricate plot puzzles that the film promises are right up Nolan's ally. They're what he does best. I must say I'm not too worried about Nolan's shift from cult to high profile as I suppose it was unavoidable. I'd rather the mood of the film suffer a bit (I liked The Prestige more than Dave methinks) at the hands of the visuals, than the film be completely devoid of any visual interest like Insomnia was.
On another note, I seem to be having trouble comprehending the reality this film without needing some prior film to compare it to. Right now my mind wants to categorize it as another Matrix, or Vanilla Sky, or something Lynchian. But more than anything I think it resembles a somewhat overlooked animated film from a few years back called Paprika, in which a policeman travels through a fantastical dream-reality. I wonder if anyone else sees the connection, or in general is thinking of this film a lot in terms of previous dream films.
JA: I totally get what you're going at with mentioning Paprika as seeming to occupy a similar story-space, Robert, but seeing as how I really didn't enjoy that movie I find no room in my enthusiasms for it here!
Anyway I fear I'm coming across as a total whore for nothing but names, names, names in this countdown, but then, I am, and this round-up of names is what's the bottom-line of my interest. Thankfully in my defense, as y'all have already made clear, it can't really be the story yet since we don't know the story! But the names! Besides Chris Nolan I'm really at a place where I will see any and everything that Joseph Gordon Levitt does until he convinces me not to, and I don't see that happening any time soon. Likewise, Ellen Page - I adore her. Likewise Marion Cotillard. And Tom Hardy's moving up up up the list. Leo... well he comes and goes in my estimations - loved him in The Departed, thought he was all over the map in Shutter Island (but then so was that whole movie) - but he's certainly no demerit.
And I like the middle-ground Nolan's straddling here, very much like The Prestige (I'm a big fan too, Robert), between his low-budget big-ideas beginnings and his giant-budget current standings. He puts a lot of razzle-dazzle up on the screen (and like most geeks I drooled over that shot of the city folding in on itself in Inception's trailer) but he doesn't short-change his ideas for them. Amid all the bang for the buck he got outta The Dark Knight I really felt a real romance with anarchy brewing there under its pretty surface. Plenty of that's thanks to Heath's efforts, of course, but Nolan knows how to let his actors add a disturbing flavor to the pot and make undermine any easy answers. Which I like. A lot.
This trailer is probably the most revealing thing we'll get. So is anyone else enjoying the mystery?
"We Can't Wait: Summer and Beyond"
The "orphan" picks Nathaniel (Burlesque), JA (Love and Other Drugs), Jose (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger), Craig (What's Wrong With Virginia?), Robert (True Grit) and Dave (Brighton Rock); Team Film Experience Countdown #12 It's Kind of a Funny Story, #11 Sex & the City 2, #10 Scott Pilgrim vs the World, #9 Somewhere, #8 The Kids Are All Right, #7 The Illusionist, #6 Toy Story 3, #5 Inception, #4 Rabbit Hole, #3 Never Let Me Go, #2 Black Swan and #1 The Tree of Life.