Top Ten Movies of 2010 — Number Six


An endlessly spinning top makes for about as fine a metaphor as could be cooked up for Christopher Nolan’s wildly imaginative, audaciously entertaining film about transforming the human subconscious into a playground for all manner of skulduggery. Inception is a big budget action movie that is fearlessly complicated, dragging the viewer along as its central challengers of constructed mental landscapes plumb layers upon layers of continually warping unreality. I can pay no greater compliment to Nolan and his execution of enough conceits to fill every spot on a roulette wheel than to note that I was freshly delighted every time he cut back to a shot of a van slowly plunging backwards into icy water, its progress towards the inevitable splash made in glacial increments as chaos unfolds on different levels of perception. Nolan packs his screenplay with vexing problems that add up to a grand puzzle that defies shortcut solutions, rendering sadly inadequate all of the many attempts at building an answer key that cropped up across the geek culture church that proselytizes all over the internet. A rollicking argument favoring the journey over the destination, Inception is a luxurious experience saturated in the impossible and echoing with the familiar high emotions that make lightning crash melodrama so alluring. The film is a collision between whirring intellect and the bass-thumping rhythms of uncontrollable passion. And anytime the fiction seems steady enough for the audience to get their collective footing, Nolan has provided himself the ability to literally spin the world, a tactic he employs with the gregarious joy of a born storyteller. Inception is a breathless example of the cinematic heights that can be reached when anything is possible.

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