I didn’t even need a second to think about it –
Among the many forgotten drafts sitting around for this blog is a rambly one about Inception. It is more or less a defence against the charge that the film is shallow – the characters aside from Cobb are 2 dimensional and it’s just a dumb action film dressed in philosophy undergraduate clothing. My retort to that is one long, loud, giant raspberry which is accompanied by the words “well fuck ya’s …”.
Fine. I think this film is brilliant on several levels – I buy the entire plot and the characters. At the moment I’m of the belief that the majority of the film happens within Cobb’s dream logic and so the other characters are in part his creations, sort of like the imprint and memories we carry of other people Ariadne is the give away and at the beginning, Sato is handling Cobb’s totem (ooh-er) so we establish that nothing we see is to be trusted.
I would have loved to have seen the script notes that Nolan must have received for this. If I ever meet him (and you know what? I’m going to. There, I’ve said it. One day I will meet Christopher Nolan as a peer … hopefully I won’t make a complete tit of myself at the time), I’m going to ask him. Apparently he pitched the idea to Warners in 2001 but then decided he needed to get a bit more experience first. I’m sure an element of that is true, but I’m also going to guess that someone looked at his pitch and laughed at him. So away he went, built up his reputation as a man who not only makes incredible, intelligent, commercial films but also as someone who can lure a patron into a seat. Once he convinced the money men, perhaps only then could he have made this film.
More importantly, this film shows that an audience will come to see an original feature in their droves. In a time where we seem to be getting nothing but adaptations and remakes, this can only be a good thing – when will we see studios take a similar leap of faith with other filmmakers? It can take about 2 years before things even get green-lit so I hope that 2013 will have some gems in store … That said, Mark Harris’ excellent GQ article on the state of modern cinema does have me worried if studios think that Inception‘s success is an anomaly.
Honourable mentions (get thee to a video store and rent them!):
Four Lions (dir. Chris Morris)
I wish wrote this film, but no Chris Morris (along with the stupidly talented Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show brilliance and Simon Blackwell from The Thick of It) did. Fuck the terrorists, fuck government scaremongering and fuck Mini Babybel!
Whip It (dir. Drew Barrymore)
Complex, three dimensional female characters? Check. Kick arse soundtrack? Check. The best representation of a mother and daughter relationship on screen that doesn’t appear to side with either party? Oh hell yes.