Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Dream Team: Nolan’s “Inception” getting high praise

From the art house to the megaplex, we’ve seen countless attempts at recreating dreams for the big screen. Dream depictions date back to the beginning of film, and the success stories are limited. Most of the time dreams in film are hackneyed plot devices or lazy attempts at character development.

The few exceptions are artsy surrealist films. Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali best portrayed the shocking incoherence of nightmares in the 1929 silent short “Un Chien Andalou.” David Lynch is the modern master of the tradition. His films like Mulholland Drive and Eraserhead paint dark, unsettling dreamscapes where the rules of the waking world don’t apply.

Reviews show “Inception”, opening at midnight Friday, appears to sets a new benchmark for movies about dreams. Accessible to audiences but impossible to describe on paper, it’s not your typical summer blockbuster.

Roger Ebert said it best when he wrote in his review “Here is a movie immune to spoilers: If you knew how it ended, that would tell you nothing unless you knew how it got there. And telling you how it got there would produce bafflement.”

Here’s what we know from the previews and press releases:

Leonardo DiCaprio leads a team of specialists who infiltrate people’s dreams to steal their secrets. He’s offered one last job as a chance at redemption. Instead of stealing an idea he has to plant one. Something of course goes wrong as the trailers and commercials are filled with images of the world bending and cities collapsing.

"Inception's" pedigree is unmatched on paper. Director Christopher Nolan is the man who reinvented Batman and set records with “The Dark Knight.” Oscar winners and rising stars fill out the large ensemble cast. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page and Michael Caine are just a few to name aside from DiCaprio.

The Rotten Tomato ranking, which averages all positive and negative reviews, is at a very respectable 87 percent. Mr. Ebert himself gave “Inception” four stars.

Look for a full review on the Sleep Education Blog in the coming days.

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