Contender: ‘Inception’

Nolan brings passion project to Academy

Read the Variety review

Should “Inception” helmer Christopher Nolan fail to garner an Oscar directing nomination this year, the resulting fanboy protests may well necessitate National Guard interference. Their anger was palpable enough when he was denied for cerebral superhero saga “The Dark Knight” in 2008, but his work this summer was a true game-changer. Among the very few films this year to blow away both critics (87% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and ticketbuyers ($818 million worldwide), “Inception” marked Nolan as the rarest of beasts: A mainstream filmmaker using his capital to pursue ambitious passion projects at astronomical budgets.

While Academy voters debate whether to include “Inception” in the picture, director and original screenplay dockets, the film’s technical craftsmanship presents some unignorable award opportunities as well. Using a relative minimum of CG, visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin orchestrated a wealth of demiurgic setpieces, sumptuously shot by the director’s longtime d.p. Wally Pfister, while fellow Nolan vet Lee Smith deserves plaudits for his yeoman’s work in the editing bay shuffling sensibly between multiple levels of consciousness. Past Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer’s score here ranks among his very best and is perhaps his most innovative, incorporating repeating variations on Edith Piaf’s “Non, je ne regrette rien” with mathematical dexterity.

More Film

  • Get Hard

    Writer Claims 'Get Hard' Ripped Off His 'Prison 101' Idea

    Read the Variety review Should “Inception” helmer Christopher Nolan fail to garner an Oscar directing nomination this year, the resulting fanboy protests may well necessitate National Guard interference. Their anger was palpable enough when he was denied for cerebral superhero saga “The Dark Knight” in 2008, but his work this summer was a true game-changer. […]

  • Charles Rivkin

    CineAsia: Charles Rivkin Looks to Asia as Locomotive for Theatrical Cinema

    Read the Variety review Should “Inception” helmer Christopher Nolan fail to garner an Oscar directing nomination this year, the resulting fanboy protests may well necessitate National Guard interference. Their anger was palpable enough when he was denied for cerebral superhero saga “The Dark Knight” in 2008, but his work this summer was a true game-changer. […]

  • Tax Plan Strikes Fear Among Below

    Hollywood's Below-the-Line Workers Anxious About New Tax Plans

    Read the Variety review Should “Inception” helmer Christopher Nolan fail to garner an Oscar directing nomination this year, the resulting fanboy protests may well necessitate National Guard interference. Their anger was palpable enough when he was denied for cerebral superhero saga “The Dark Knight” in 2008, but his work this summer was a true game-changer. […]

  • Detective Pikachu

    Film News Roundup: Live-Action 'Detective Pikachu' Gets 2019 Release

    Read the Variety review Should “Inception” helmer Christopher Nolan fail to garner an Oscar directing nomination this year, the resulting fanboy protests may well necessitate National Guard interference. Their anger was palpable enough when he was denied for cerebral superhero saga “The Dark Knight” in 2008, but his work this summer was a true game-changer. […]

  • Movie Chain AMC Exploring Investment in

    Movie Chain AMC Exploring Investment in Saudi Arabia

    Read the Variety review Should “Inception” helmer Christopher Nolan fail to garner an Oscar directing nomination this year, the resulting fanboy protests may well necessitate National Guard interference. Their anger was palpable enough when he was denied for cerebral superhero saga “The Dark Knight” in 2008, but his work this summer was a true game-changer. […]

  • SPENCER LOCKE as Melissa Rainier in

    CineAsia: Sony Applies Haptic Technology to 'Insidious: The Last Key' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Read the Variety review Should “Inception” helmer Christopher Nolan fail to garner an Oscar directing nomination this year, the resulting fanboy protests may well necessitate National Guard interference. Their anger was palpable enough when he was denied for cerebral superhero saga “The Dark Knight” in 2008, but his work this summer was a true game-changer. […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to Dominant Social Media Buzz

    Read the Variety review Should “Inception” helmer Christopher Nolan fail to garner an Oscar directing nomination this year, the resulting fanboy protests may well necessitate National Guard interference. Their anger was palpable enough when he was denied for cerebral superhero saga “The Dark Knight” in 2008, but his work this summer was a true game-changer. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content