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Alternate 'Inception' Poster Revealed, Christopher Nolan Talks Theories About The Film's Ending

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 24, 2010 9:52 AM
9 Comments
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An alternate poster for "Inception" has been revealed and well, it's pretty clear to see why it was an alternate. The stars remain figures in the distance as the cityscape curls up around them and really, it's not as striking as the official one sheets and character posters that got the thumbs up. But an interesting look at the creative process regardless.

In other related news, in the pages of Wired (via Collider), Christopher Nolan sat down and addressed pretty much every theory about the ending of "Inception." It was definitely one of the biggest (and eventually most irritating) conversation starters of the summer. Obviously if you haven't seen the film (and by this point, there really should be no excuse why you missed it), you should stop reading right here. But if you want to know whether it's real or a dream or if it's something else entirely read on but be forewarned, the director doesn't really give any definite answers on anything.

Here's what Nolan will say with certainty about the ending, “The kids are not wearing the same clothes at the end! And they do age! We were working with two sets of kids.” This falls in line with what costume designer Jeffrey Kurland said earlier in the year, but don't take it as anything definitive.

Why? Simply because it seems that focusing on whether or not that spinning top falls over is missing the point entirely. “The important thing is that Cobb’s not looking at the top. He doesn’t care,” Nolan says.

Oh, so then it was a metaphor for moviemaking and the creative process right? Nope, guess again. “I didn’t intend to make a film about film-making, but I gravitated toward the creative process that I know," Nolan said adding, "I wouldn’t say that I tried to use the grammar of the film to tell the audience what is dream and what is reality.” OK, so then it's all a dream and Cobb ends up in limbo, right? “Uh…that’s not how I would have read the movie.”

Dammit! So maybe the whole picture is supposed to be open ended. Afraid not as Nolan says, “Oh no, I’ve got an answer…” It just turns out, he's not going to tell you what it is. Well, maybe you can figure it out and see if there are any more clues to be had when the film hits DVD and BluRay on December 7th.

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9 Comments

  • Ao Meng | November 27, 2010 2:28 AMReply

    nolan shut the fuck up


    no the truth of the matter is that nolan is a serious troll

    the key part of the ending is [spoilers]he has yr money[/spoilers] yr mind is the scene of the crime

  • splicer | November 26, 2010 7:31 AMReply

    2nd to last shot of the movie - Cobb's father walking away with a shit-eating grin on his face!

    I agree that it doesn't matter whether it is a dream or whether it is reality, but rather that Cobb has decided to make this scene his reality from then on. But if it is a dream... who better to construct it than his own father... who used to be a dream architect and knows everything about his son?

    Shot placement is important, and I have to believe that strategically placing a close-up of Cobb Senior as the second to last shot of the movie, isn't just a random editorial cutaway. IT'S STRATEGIC! IT MEANS SOMETHING! But what...?

  • ThePlaylist | November 26, 2010 3:05 AMReply

    "relative reality" is one of the more astute comments here. It's on point and let's you really know what the ending is, relative. But you know, feel free to try and crystallize it that makes you feel better.

  • Mike | November 25, 2010 10:15 AMReply

    In the end, it's not about whether he is in reality or dream state. It's that reality is relative. He came to realize the importance of "knowing" no longer mattered because he truly "felt" he could finally go on without his wife, now that he finally came to terms with her and was able to finally let her go so he could be with his children. In the end, he got his wish to be with his children again, in relative reality. If you finally got what you so longly wished for, would you want to wake up from that?

  • Tim | November 25, 2010 8:17 AMReply

    At the end of the film everything goes so smoothly that you might THINK it's a dream. But in the end he goes to the table, spins his totem top, and walks away. The fact is, he doesn't care about that top anymore, other than the fact that it reminds him of his wife. It's just a habit of his to spin it because that's what his wife did (and because he did it so often). His wife locked the top away in a safe because she wanted to forget that their dream was just a dream. The movie isn't deceiving you. Those who think that he's still in a dream state are reading too much in to the damned top. He spins it because he is wistful not because he doesn't trust reality. Cobb came home to his kids.
    p.s. - when his wife was shot and he was holding her in his arms he tells her "you left our kids and now i have to let you go". He lets go of his guilt. He let's go of Mal. Buddhists of old made a journey when they did something wrong. The length of the journey depended on how guilty of the crime you were (or how serious the crime). Mal represented his guilt. Cobb made his journey and redeemed himself, which is why he is able to let go of Mal and move on to save Saito. Watch the movie again. You will see.

  • Rimbo | November 25, 2010 6:10 AMReply

    It seems pretty obvious that it's reality at the end. The kids are older and wearing different clothes. Of course Nolan is going to say that the important thing is Cobb isn't watching the spinning top anymore. So that means Cobb doesn't care if the top falls. That doesn't exclude reality as an option. I don't even understand what could lead you to thinking it's all a dream and Cobb ends up in limbo. He says clearly that's not how he would read the movie. So... how are you still thinking it's open-ended?

  • Ryan | November 25, 2010 6:05 AMReply

    Nah, he's home

  • rodie | November 25, 2010 4:49 AMReply

    People who think Cobb is stuck in limbo at the end, or worse, that the whole film is a dream, are really stretching.

  • Paolo | November 25, 2010 4:22 AMReply

    Some nerd's probably gonna try to get the answer from Nolan on the latter's deathbed.

    Also, it's still weird that Leonardo di Caprio's old enough to play paternal roles now.

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