Christopher Nolan & his amazing mistakes



I've already chimed in on Inception a few days ago -that can be read HERE- but I'm still not done talking about Nolan and the constant mistakes he seems to be making in every film he releases. That is not to say Inception or Memento or The Dark Knight are not memorable experiences but they have a coldness and detachment to character that is very evident and almost frustrating to watch. Nolan is a man that is all about Ideas and structure- in fact he's a master @ those things. The concepts in Inception are brilliant and unforgettable, so are the payoffs and images that he imposes on the viewer. Nolan has a knack for creating visually stunning imagery that takes your breathe away, I can think of a few in his Batman movies and the lasting image of Leonard Shelby covered in tattoos and haunted by his dead wife in Memento. He is one of the great creators of the past 10 years of film, I haven't necessarily disliked any of his feature length movies with the exception of his film school-felt debut Following- which debuted in 1998 at sundance.

One thing I found very disconcerting about Inception was the way Nolan handled the action- his use of hand held camera was at times nauseating and completely devoid of comprehension. Ever since those Paul Greengrass Bourne movies came out, it's been a hip thing to use hand held camera for any and every action scene, which -instead of realism- can sometimes bring a feeling of dizziness. This struggle with action is not new to Nolan. Don't get me wrong The Dark Knight had some awe inspiring set pieces but Nolan can sometimes suffer from a case of too much is not enough. He gets excited with something and never lets it go- hammering down at his audience like an excited fanboy. Then again Nolan is only 40 and still has time to master his ingeniously original ideas into coherent action. You expect a movie such as Inception to create a backlash. It's riddled with ideas and is one of the most original movies you will likely see in 2010. Is it the best one? probably not.

Originality always comes at a cost and Inception will most likely puzzle and provoke the most timid of audiences. In other words, the world Nolan has created isn't for the A-Team crowd. Just like any of his previous efforts, it has flaws but its beating heart is undeniably real and in the right place. The male characters that populate his movies are flawed men with a haunted past. I can think of Leonard Shelby seeking revenge for his dead wife in Memento, Bruce Wayne building a better Gotham and still troubled by his dead parents in The Dark Knight, Al Paicno's detective Domer haunted by his past and not able to sleep in Insomnia & Leonardo Dicaprio's Cobb in Inception, a man that cannot face the facts and still tries to create memories of his wife in his very dreams. Now if only Nolan can control himself for a change and bring subtelty to his game, then maybe we can talk about a true master of his game. For now we are left with his undeniably messy but brilliant films which I've rated below

Following C
Memento A
Insomnia B+
Batman Begins B+
The Prestige B+
The Dark Knight A-
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