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Watch: Supercut Gathers Up Every Question Ellen Page Asks In Christopher Nolan's 'Inception'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
July 1, 2013 5:56 PM
27 Comments
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It was about this time three years ago, when barely anyone could contain their excitement for Christopher Nolan's "Inception." The film was just a couple weeks away from release and subsequently blowing minds. The puzzle box blockbuster, perhaps one of the smarter summer movies to come along in quite a few years, managed to take dreams and multiple levels of reality, and make them breathlessly linear and easy to navigate. It was a pretty magnificent thrill ride all around but the nearly perfectly constructed movie wasn't without it's minor flaws.

One of them that many discussed was the movie's weirdly non-sexual atmosphere, a bit odd for a movie dealing with fantasies and a tortured romance at its core. The film also required a lot of exposition to keep things moving along and much of that came via Ellen Page's Ariadne, named after the character from Greek myth who was put in charge of labyrinths by the King Of Crete. In 'Inception' she functions as a sort of guide through the complex world of "Inception," asking a lot of questions and getting answers from Leonardo DiCaprio's Cobb.

Strung all together, it makes the device look far worse that it actually is but it's still an amusing way to look at the movie. Take it in below. [via AV Club]

Inception Supercut : Every Ellen Page Question - watch more funny videos
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27 Comments

  • MDL | July 2, 2013 11:47 PMReply

    Funny to read all these backlash views of what is actually a pretty good movie. It seems quite fashionable to do this with mainstream movies that break out. But such criticisms serve little purpose. This movie made its mark. Deal with it.

  • Cde. | July 4, 2013 10:53 PM

    It's a board for discussion. Your objection serves little purpose.

  • 853guy | July 2, 2013 5:12 PMReply

    Personally, I didn't like Inception, because I never bought DiCaprio's Cobb as, firstly, a father, and secondly, a husband. Therefore, I never cared about the construct of the film because the emotional core of the film felt hollow. Apropos, Kubrick - I bought into the character of HAL 9000, who, I'd argue, reveals more character as the circumstances change than anyone does in Inception. The "logic" of the dreams - and the ever-tightening reign it enforced on the characters - renders Inception's characters as lifeless expositionary devices, where, much like The Dark Knight Rises, there's really nothing at risk (everyone civilian got sent home, Gordon's in hospital, Jen is dispensable, Bane is not the real badguy, the entire police force was made up of no-name badges) - nothing for me to care about because the levels of the dreams only served to further distance me from having any emotional investment in the characters. It looks and sounds amazing, but every time I try and watch it I just do not care enough to sit through to the end. James, remember in Memento when Shelby's running through a carpark and asks, "OK, so what am I doing?" "Oh, I'm chasing this guy..." Dodd shoots at him. "No... he's chasing me."? Remember how fresh and funny that line of expositionary dialogue was? Well, there's been nothing in Inception or TDKR that's been even half as human as that, because the characters in Nolan's films present to me only a disconnection between the signifier and the signified. Personally, based on what little I've read of Kip Thorne, I am already dreading Interstellar.

  • droop | July 2, 2013 11:48 AMReply

    this really is the essence of the movie. god how aweful

  • yer | July 2, 2013 12:31 AMReply

    Nolan drowns his films in expository dialog. It's fucking amateur and awful stuff and yet people eat it up like slop.

  • James | July 2, 2013 6:30 AM

    Expository dialog (or voice over for that matter) isn't automatically evil you know? Its not like there is a rule that says its bad or "amateur".. unless you follow the concept of what a great film is by reading into "rules of filmmaking" as so many indeed does. If a film shows (lays out rules, breaks them, expand upon them etc - and Nolan does so), then the expository dialog can be a vital and fun way of moving us along in the story. Again, as long as its not only telling and not showing.

    Also, the very construct of the narrative in Inception is built around how the audience experience (POV) the story (being a part of cheating a third party - Fischer) and the exposition is very much a part of the entertainment.

  • Cde. | July 1, 2013 8:00 PMReply

    "Strung all together, it makes the device look far worse that it actually is"

    No, it really is as bad as this video makes it seem. The second time I saw the film it was completely sunk by the exposition of the rules of the dream world through nearly every moment of the film.
    It's about dreams. The audience expects things to go against logic. The way the world is so rigidly defined by rules makes it seem more like a film about video games.

  • James | July 1, 2013 8:22 PM

    "It's about dreams" - It's about the construction and manipulation of dreams.

    "The way the world is so rigidly defined by rules makes it seem more like a film about video games."

    The "video-game/levels" approach is what makes it so unique and timely.

  • James | July 1, 2013 7:25 PMReply

    Also, almost every character in film noirs, caper films, and genre films in general are nothing more than cyphers - because story and plot is the star. To criticize a film that actually does what very, very few film of its kind have accomplished (merging characters, visuals, plot and story) is really unwarranted. If so you have to dismiss so many of the greatest films ever made. There isn't much to any of the characters in most Kubrick, Lean or Hitchcock films, but I don't find people complaining about that here.

  • zatopek | July 2, 2013 6:30 PM

    "C'mon, Inception is all about the character of Cobb. Of course the cinematography and music is big part of the film's appeal too, but still..."

    If that is so (which I think it isn't), then that makes it even worse that the central conflict of that character is not effectively handled, but made to just another dead wife/pained hero thingamajig.

  • James | July 2, 2013 6:15 AM

    What I meant is that the criticism aimed at inception can be thrown at any film

    "C'mon, Vertigo is all about the character of James Stewart. Of course the cinematography and music is big part of the film's appeal too, but still..."
    And my point is;
    C'mon, Inception is all about the character of Cobb. Of course the cinematography and music is big part of the film's appeal too, but still...

  • zatopek | July 2, 2013 5:52 AM

    C'mon, Vertigo is all about the character of James Stewart. Of course the cinematography and music is big part of the film's appeal too, but still...

    Inception had a flawed script. Too much exposition, too much James Bond action and the whole Mal/Cobb thing not quite working, especially the melodramatic climax. I still like it and what it tried to do, but it's no Vertigo (nor is it Mulholland Dr., Godfather, Citizen Kane or 2001 - btw, don't you think that the fact that HAL in 2001 is more human/emotional than the astronauts is intentional?)

  • Cde. | July 1, 2013 9:48 PM

    You're not emotionally attached watching Mulholland Dr.? The ending always get's to me.

  • James | July 1, 2013 8:12 PM

    Indeed. Vertigo, Battleship Potemkin, Intolerance, The Exorcist, Metropolis, Stalker, etc all driven more by visuals, editing, plot or storytelling - not only "character development" (utter gimmick phrase anyways).

    I care more about the characters in Inception than any of the films mentioned above. I'm not emotional emotionally attached watching Citizen Kane or say Mulholland Dr., nor do I give a toss about the characters in Out of the Past or any Nic Roeg films - and yet I still love those movies. Love em'.

    Cinema is so much more than just characters and arcs.

  • Cde. | July 1, 2013 8:02 PM

    "Yet it somehow exists as pure cinema?"
    Removing theatrical/novel based concepts like plot and character development is a step on the road to 'pure cinema'. That phrase is being killed through overuse by people who have no idea what it actually means.

  • Pat | July 1, 2013 7:42 PM

    Very true. 2001 is one of the greatest films in the history of the medium, yet there is zero character development for any character in the film. Yet it somehow exists as pure cinema?

  • DG | July 1, 2013 7:16 PMReply

    Come on this movie is obviously a classic and actually quite moving in parts (I cried when Malle jumped twice)

  • James | July 1, 2013 6:15 PMReply

    Just re-watched this again the other day and my god its still one of the best films I've seen come out of Hollywood in the last 10-15 years. Pure cinema.

    The exposition (vital part of the caper genre.. and understanding this film) isn't automatically a flaw or bad. It is too much of it in Inception, but its nothing more than a minor setback here.

  • Cde. | July 1, 2013 9:47 PM

    For what it's worth, I still like the film. I think it's one of the best Hollywood action films of the decade, and I feel it does have as much of an emotional kick as just about any heist film of its time. I just wish Nolan had reined in the need to explain everything. I think the film doesn't hold up so well on rewatches because of this.

  • Cde. | July 1, 2013 9:44 PM

    I feel like the characters you mention in other films have real life to them. They didn't annoy me in the way the Inception cast did.
    Leo and Murphy do have solid arcs. I don't recall Hardy's character being much of a character at all, but he invests it with humour through his performance. The rest of them seme like they are there for the sake of info dumping.
    This isn't in itself automatically a bad thing. It made sense given the context that Duvall would be talking business, whereas it's distracting how much it feels like dialogue is motivated by a need to fill in the audience in Inception. They're still introducing and explaining new rules in the third act. Too much.

  • Pat | July 1, 2013 8:31 PM

    "Info Dump...." For the love of... Look at the Godfather. Robert Duuvall gives a brilliant performance, and yet the vast majority of dialouge he has is exposition. He is constantly filling the audience in on the other families, Michael's plan, the Five Family's Plans, Vito's plan, etc. Same with Vigoda, Castillano, Cazale,etc. Additionally, all the films I mentioned earlier are film's where characters talk plot. Leo and Murphey have solid arcs and emotionally connect to the audience. Cotillard and Hardy are fully formed and immnsely compelling and give great performances. The rest of the cast are great and fufill their roles. Is John Cazale boring in the first Godfather because he has no real arc? No.

  • Cde. | July 1, 2013 8:06 PM

    Pat, how about revising the screenplay so it had less characters, then? It becomes distracting when there is a huge cast of characters but only a couple of them are developed, while the rest are there for info dumps. The film will seem tighter and the characters more rounded if the focus is limited to the few necessary ones.

  • James | July 1, 2013 7:02 PM

    Fuu, can't edit that last post. Sorry about that.

  • James | July 1, 2013 7:01 PM

    KT: The fact that you have a core element of emotional drive (Cobb and his kids/Fischer and his father) is more than almost any other genre film of this kind. I really cared for Cobb and his journey of self-discovery, even if he was a crook and thief - that onto itself is a testament to films drama for me. I really tear up at the end. I don't think the characters were uinteresting at all; Hardy was really fun - especially in his banter with Arthur, the straight-guy of the film. Saito was interesting and especially Cotillard brought so much enigma and mystery to her very unique character.

    But it's the ideas, concepts and execution of narrative and existential theme that makes it a landmark film.

    You have to take genre into into consideration and ask yourself how many great film (particularity genre films) you really CARE for the characters. I disagree that the film doesn't offer interesting characters (Hardy, Cotillard) and that you don't care for anyone but Cobb (Cillian Murphy's for example)

    The fact that the core of the film and

  • KT | July 1, 2013 6:59 PM

    "Fischer had a solid arc." Not really, but sure, you named one more. That doesn't change the fact that the characters were uninteresting and there was little to no character development... I don't hate the film but "pure cinema" it is not. I'd actually like to see how the material would have been handled by say the Wachowski's maybe.

  • Pat | July 1, 2013 6:54 PM

    I'm so sick of KT's critiscm about no character development outside of Cobb (Fischer also had a solid arc); however, character development for one or two characters is something you could accuse many great films of doing: Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Prince of the City, Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood, The Maltese Falcon, Argo, etc. Many of the characters in these films exist solely to advance the protagonist's journey. Is Noah Cross any less interesting because he is fully formed in the film, and we never know how he started raping his daughter? Or is Frank Serpico's journey any less heartbreaking because his girlfriend is a cypher? No- I think Inception is in great company.

  • KT | July 1, 2013 6:31 PM

    It wasn't the exposition that hurt the film as much as the fact that, with the exception of maybe Cobb, you cared for not one of these characters; they were wholly uninteresting and simply served to further the plot.

    There was zero character development.

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