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As I was making preparations to see Inception with a group of my friends earlier this week, something occurred to me. That something is that Christopher Nolan is the best director working right now. I verbalized this. I said it. I said “Hey man, Inception is going to be a beast, I promise you. Christopher Nolan is the best director in the industry right now.” Since everyone I was around was so jazzed to see the movie, I expected to get a bunch of people agreeing with me and telling me how I was the greatest and most knowledgeable film geek in all the land. That didn’t happen. What I got instead was names. I got Spielberg, I got Ridley Scott, someone said Stanley Kubrick, forgetting that he’s been dead for over ten years, someone said Michael Bay, and was immediately disinvited from seeing the movie with me, and subsequently kicked out of my life forever.
Maybe my partners aren’t the most knowledgeable on this subject. Or maybe it’s possible that despite all his critical acclaim and box office power, that Nolan is still unappreciated by a large portion of the moviegoing public, even the ones that are supposed to be up on this sort of thing. The fact is that Nolan has had the kind of understated brilliance in the last ten years that few auteurs have ever had in a career. It’s not just the big hits either; Although I’m sure all of us had a filmgasm watching the The Dark Knight. As a matter of fact, about 45 minutes into that particular movie, I had this conversation with the girl I was with.
Van: This movie is better then you.
Girl: I like it more than our relationship, and it’s significantly sexually more fulfilling.
Van: Let’s never leave the theater.
Girl: Deal. What happened to Katie Holmes?
Van: Cruise happened.
That’s the genius of Nolan. He turns lovers against each other. With a track record that also includes films like The Prestige, Insomnia and the spellbinding Memento, Chrissy boy is getting it done like no other chair sitter in Hollywood at the moment. If Inception is the commercial and critical hit that many expect it to be, he’s got a chance to cement himself as the heir to the likes of Spielberg and Cameron. He’d be the go to industry dude for the “Event Movie” AKA the film you just know is going to kick a whole bunch of ass. Note that this was supposed to be M. Night. Note that that notion now seems like the most hilarious thing in the world. His style may be a little dark for the super mainstream audiences, but the never ending barrage of substance and talent that he throws up on the screen right now is second to none.
I’m actually off to see Inception right now. Hopefully Nolan will deliver again, and do his part to save this dreadful summer.