5/5 MUST must see SEE
dir-scr Christopher Nolan
prd Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
with Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Michael Caine, Tom Berenger, Lukas Haas, Pete Postlethwaite
release US/UK 16.Jul.10
09/UK Warner 2h28
Brain drain: Gordon-Levitt and DiCaprio

watanabe page cotillard

30th Shadows Awards

london film fest
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Inception Nolan pulls us into another fiendishly entertaining scenario, engaging our brains while taking us on a thrilling ride. And while the mind-bending story might not be as cerebral as it seems, it completely envelops us.

Cobb (DiCaprio) invades people's dreams for a living, stealing ideas with the help of his sidekick Arthur (Gordon-Levitt). But a new client (Watanabe) wants him to try inception instead: implanting an idea in the mind of media heir Fischer (Murphy). So Cobb hires a new architect (Page) and two other skilled experts (Hardy and Rao) to create an elaborately layered dreamworld for the reverse heist. The problem is that Cobb's wife (Cotillard) is lurking in this alternate reality and could bring the whole plan crashing down around them.

The fantastical element of the plot (how people can team up to enter someone's dream) is taken as a given from the start with the help of a never-explained gadget, so we don't need to worry about that. We can get on with enjoying the twists and turns of the plot, the outrageous situations and some fantastic effects work that continually challenges our perceptions. As usual, Nolan never lets the visual gimmickry take over the plot, keeping it under control as part of the story, and the result is simply exhilarating.

Even though the plot isn't actually that complex or difficult to follow, it is almost impossible to explain in any detail. The best scene is a fight in a hotel that is tumbling and rolling (for a very clear reason) as Gordon-Levitt grapples with a series of gun-toting goons. But other elements are just as exciting, and the way everything is edited together into an overall action romp is seriously impressive.

The cast is terrific as well. DiCaprio is perhaps a bit cold in the central role as a man haunted by past decisions and actions. But everyone around him resonates strongly, most notably Cotillard. Hardy and Murphy also have their moments to shine in the ensemble, while strong side roles for Caine (as Cobb's father) and Berenger (as Fischer's lawyer) add some weight. And in the end, as themes of regret, grief and redemption swell and undulate, the cast members beautifully draw some multi-layered meaning from the on-screen fun.

cert 12 themes, violence 9.Jul.10

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... Inception Tony , Cleveland, OH: 5/5 This is a masterpiece. Christopher Nolan has done the impossible by creating the thinking man's blockbuster. It's a film that insists on and rewards your full attention, the acting is flawless (DiCaprio has never been better), the special effects stunning (and mostly done in, and the editing is perfect. My favorite movie of 2010. (10.Jan.12)

Jon Harland, North Wales: 3.5/5 Brilliantly acted, unique appearance. I don't really know if I ever fully grasped this film's concept totally though. I would describe it as interesting and strange. (21.Dec.16)

© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall