Greetings, Glancers! Today I run a more critically eye over my tenth favourite movie of the year 2010, seeking to ignore my bias and provide a fair score based on the 20 criteria I feel are most important in the creation of a film. Today’s movie is Christopher Nolan’s Inception – a film within a film within a… you get the idea.
Sales: 5. It made almost 1 billion bucks. I think that warrants a 5.
Critical Consensus: 4. Almost Universal Acclaim, certainly from most of the ‘big critics’, but a vocal minority of people entirely bemused by the acclaim.
Director: 5. Well, yes. I don’t think you can go lower than 4 here even if you’re not a fan. Putting together something as complex as this and making it so accessible and successful, while also being influential and iconic.
Performances: 4. Good performances all round from an eclectic cast – I could go three here because there are no standouts, but everyone is consistently strong.
Characters: 3. Nothing out of the ordinary – the rich guy, the military guy, the gut haunted by the past, the sidekick etc.
Cinematography: 5. One of the most visually striking movies of recent decades.
Writing: 3. Increasingly for Nolan, we get a little lost in detail without pushing substance. There’s also the small matter of its similarity to other films, most notably Satoshi Kon’s seminal Paprika – not the first time Kon’s work has been ‘borrowed’ by Hollywood. Only 5 people outside of Japan have seen it though – me and 4 others.
Plot: 4. Right, where to begin? It’s all over the place, it just about holds together enough to make sense and be engaging, but there is a lot of waffle and asides which could be cut to deliver a more streamlined story. I can see people giving anything from 1-5 here, so who knows?
Wardrobe: 3. Lots of suits.
Editing: 4. I’ll go with a 4 here because it is all so impressive, but we’re firmly in the era of Nolan’s approach to Sound editing that I’m not a fan of.
Make up and Hair: 3. Sure.
Effects: 5. Mind-boggling, and along with Gravity one of the finest examples of Effects being pushed forwards in the 2000s.
Art and Set: 4. More striking stuff, but a little lacking in colour – deliberately so.
Sound And Music: 4. Suitably booming work from Zimmer giving the sense of epic scale, melodic when it needs to be, but on an emotional level feels a little like being trapped in a car while someone blasts their favourite ballad at full volume.
Cultural Significance: 4. It has certainly been influential in Cinema and other Media, leading to lots of memes and satires, but on a wider cultural scale its significance has not been as potent.
Accomplishment: 5. Nolan has any number of masterful accomplishment’s, and Inception might be the primary among those.
Stunts: 4. Heart-pumping action which play with our expectations and like The Matrix make sense in the context of the film’s world and objectives.
Originality: 3. I’m torn on this because it pulls ideas from so many other films and books, but it presents them in a modern, more palatable way.
Miscellaneous: 4. Cool posters, trailers, all the usual.
Personal: 4. Even though it’s in my Top 10 movies of the year, we’re entering a period where I don’t have as much love for anything outside of my top 1 or 2 picks. It’s an undoubtedly great film and piece of art, but I don’t find it as flawless as most of its supporters.
Total Score: 80/100
It may not look like a high score for any Inception fanboys who happen to have stumbled on to my blog for the first time, but if you look at my other Get Rekt posts or music reviews, you’ll see that it’s about as high as we can get. It’s still one of my favourite films of 2010, calm down, and this score will be tough to beat or equal.