The first reviews are out for Chris Nolan’s newest film “Inception” and rarely have a summer blockbuster’s praises been sung so sweetly.
A sci-fi intellectual thriller, the movie follows the trials of Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a “dream extractor,” whose day job takes him to the most dangerous place on earth, the human subconscious. Under normal conditions, Cobb and his dream-team venture into the sleeping brains of important corporate players, who harbor valuable secrets that cannot be otherwise obtained. However, the real action begins when Cobb attempts the inverse of his practiced art: the planting of an idea within the mind, rather than the unearthing of one. i.e., inception. The movie boasts the most impressive lineup that money can buy, with supporting roles for stars such as Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Marion Cotillard, and Michael Caine, and financial carte-blanche for the director of “The Dark Knight.” According to reviewers across the board (thus far,) the effects are nothing less than Hollywood on fire.
Justin Chang, writing for Variety said, “Availing himself of the resources that come with a studio’s confidence, Nolan places mind-bending visual effects and a top-flight cast in service of a boldly cerebral vision that demands, and rewards, the utmost attention. Even when its ambition occasionally outstrips its execution, “Inception” tosses off more ideas and fires on more cylinders than most blockbusters would have the nerve to attempt.”
Similarly, Cinematical’s Todd Gilchrist noted, “Nolan, working with the sort of confidence (not to mention free financial reign) that comes from making a studio a mint on one’s previous picture, crafts an amazingly sophisticated, subversive, thoughtful, and even occasionally confusing (albeit in only good ways) tale about the layers of reality in the mind that calcify and crumble when constructed from the raw materials of memory and emotion.”
Kristopher Tapley also commended Nolan’s directorial feat, while calling attention to the other cherry-picked production artists responsible for the intricately crafted final product: “Care like this makes a journey worth taking as Nolan weaves something close to a participatory narrative for the audience to experience rather than observe, all leading to a brave final image that will surely leave audiences discussing an array of implications. But while the director deserves plenty of credit for his dense vision, the department heads he’s recruited will hopefully not become unsung heroes of the piece.”
Anne Thompson’s review echoes the call for the ensemble’s recognition, and calls the film a surefire Oscar contender in diverse categories: “When it opens July 16, this eye-popping film will wow moviegoers all over the world – its complexities will only encourage debate and repeat viewings – and should also score well with critics and year-end awards groups. Oscar nominations in technical categories are a certainty, but ‘Inception’ is also a strong contender for multiple nominations, including Best Picture.”