However, I have always admired Nolan's ambition. He's a director who wants to achieve more than most, and therefore takes bigger and more interesting risks than most. Rachel's death in TDK, for instance: a hugely sympathetic character dies thinking that her friends have abandoned her in favour of her fiancé. Letting a prominent character die in such a hopeless way roughly halfway into the movie takes solid brass balls. He's also never afraid to challenge an audience, to make them exercise a bit of patience, and probably frustrate more than satisfy them. Directors like that are all too rare, and ones with enough studio backing to reach the masses are even rarer.
Anyway, Inception marks the closest Nolan has ever come to finally winning me over (which I'm reasonably certain is his life's goal). I was excited, curious, scared, sad, and sometimes literally breathless. At one point - a fight scene involving Joseph Gordon Levitt* in a hallway in which the gravity keeps shifting - I realized that I could feel a completely idiotic smile all over my face.
|This guy knows what I'm talking about.|
But, as usual, I wasn't as emotionally involved as I should have been. Part of the problem is Leonardo DiCaprio. I think he's terrific, I really do, but I'm having serious performance fatigue. He has cornered the market on characters who can best be described as clenched fists - angry, isolated, and not so slowly descending into madness.
|His most relaxed expression in the whole movie.|
At the end of the day, though, Inception is well worth the time and effort. And compared with all the dreck of the summer - Grownups, Twilight the Fucking Third, and The Goddamn Nicholas Cage Movie FOR CHILDREN HOLY GOD WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS - it's the best thing you'll see in theatres, guaranteed.
*Point of interest - I have actually been in love with Joseph Gordon Levitt since I was seven, and I am really fucking glad his career is what it is. He's absolutely terrific.