Come on, John, where are you?
Just a few more thoughts:
Bedside scene- I liked this scene because it was his own consciousness that was reinterpreting to his own advantage the actual event of his father expressing his disappointment. Apart from how it fits in the film as a whole, I love the psychology behind it. I have experienced in my own life freedom by adding a new truth to old scars. Taken out of context, Fischer Jr.'s epiphany is a beautiful thing. Genesis 50:20- "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..." I would say that the man is better off in the end, despite the self-serving ends of his dream invaders (there's a good name for a band). Of course, this serves Nolan's purposes perfectly. He's still fixing the sink, but his butt crack is showing. Does he know it? Does he care?
Cillian Murphy- Did either of you see Red Eye? I saw it twice, by accident. What's funny is that I didn't remember that I'd seen it until the very end, but I enjoyed it both times. So what does it say about a film when it's enjoyable but forgettable? No matter. In any event, I think that's my strongest association with Murphy, and even there, as a the villain, it's hard to take your eyes off him. Though now that I'm thinking about it, he was such an asshole in Red Eye, maybe he had it coming to him in Inception. How's that for karma?
Mal's deaths- I think the craziness of spending 50 years in limbo and what the implications of that far overshadowed for me either of Mal's deaths. After all that time, does it even matter? Cobb was right that they did grow old together. Think about it: fifty years! All that aside, despite the presentation and role of the dead wife, the focus is always on Cobb and the effect her presence in his consciousness has on him. I mean, consider Memento for a minute. We're led to believe Leonard's on a mission to avenge his wife, to solve her murder, but in the end it's all about him. There's definitely a connection between Leonard's and Cobb's characters where that's concerned.
I cared about the characters, too. Ironically enough, I felt like the other thieves were more innocent than Cobb because of their one-dimensional motivations for being there. You felt pity for them once you realized what Cobb had gotten them into. Especially Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He's just so adorable! Who'd want anything bad to happen to him? And I'm with you on Whip It, Brandon- it was a great feel-good movie that made its own way. I really like to watch Page act. And I LOVED Juno.
The snow scene just comes down to taste, I think. Again, though, we see a progression and contrast in the different dream settings and they go nicely together. Remember also that Ariadne designed all three of them, and she *is* still a relative beginner. She could be forgiven for falling back on her childhood love of James Bond for inspiration, couldn't she?
Incidentally, I was checking IMDB once again to get character names (I can never remember them- I always just remember the actors' names) and I realized I haven't seen The Prestige. I've seen all of Nolan's films post-Following (I might have seen that in college but it was likely late and night and I was either half asleep or had already seen three or four films that day and have forgotten it)- or I thought I had. The Prestige is going on hold right away.
When specifically are you going to be in the area, Brandon? And where? I'd like to be able to carve out some time, but I'll need plenty of advance notice. We're going on vacation starting next Thursday, so I hope I don't miss you...