The third in my alphabetically-sequenced series of Best Picture Nominee reviews is Inception, the psychological science-fiction thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Probably one of the most talked about films since 2009’s Avatar, the movie centers around a group of people trained to enter a target’s subconscious mind in a dream state and steal secrets for the highest bidder. As with any truly great story, though, there’s a lot more going on than can be summed up in a simple description.
DiCaprio stars as Cobb, the ringleader of a group of experts that includes (500) Days of Summer‘s Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Juno‘s Ellen Page, and The Last Samurai‘s Ken Watanbe. Together they’re trying to break into the mind of a character played by Cillian Murphy from Batman Begins and 28 Days Later. (There are other notable actors in the movie, but I was running out of room, and these are the ones I was most excited about.)
Without question one of the absolute best movies of 2010. The acting was good (though not necessarily great) from beginning to end, and the story was brilliantly complex and thought-provoking. As with Black Swan, I left the theater pondering the events in the story, and plotting my return to dive back into its mysteries. (Unlike Black Swan, I only managed to see it once in theaters, though I was delighted to watch it on DVD for the second time recently.) And visually, it was completely stunning at every turn.
In a sense, this movie is sort of the opposite of The Fighter — while the acting was good, it was definitely the story (and the cinematography) that made this film so compelling. I stared wide-eyed at easily a third of the movie, entranced by what I was seeing on the screen and the mental hoops I was jumping through trying to keep up with the action. (Though I have to give a special shout-out to Gordon-Levitt, who I absolutely adore in everything I’ve ever seen him in. Definitely one of the most underrated actors of my generation, in my opinion.)
If you haven’t seen Inception yet, you’ve probably already been chastised (and perhaps even openly mocked) by most of your friends, so I won’t bother giving you grief. Just see the movie — rent it, pay-per-view it, DVR it, whatever. Though in my opinion, you should just jump on the special edition that includes a Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy of the movie, because you’ll want to be able to watch this movie over and over on whatever format is closest at hand.