Days before the genre-defying film opened in the U.S., internet giant Yahoo already proclaimed Inception as the best film of the year to-date. Yahoo wrote in its citation: "From its mind-bending dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream plot to its way cool special effects, the movie stands head-and-shoulders above an otherwise lackluster movie summer."
Then the glowing reviews started pouring in--from Time Magazine and New York Times and Variety to the pop-centric USA Today and Chicago Times to the heady Rolling Stone. Writers were bolwed over by director Christopher Nolan’s high-concept film. Inevitably, the word "Oscar" kept coming up.
This prompted news bureau Reuters to ask in a syndicated article, "Can Inception safely dream of Oscar glory? That’s one conundrum that will linger long after average moviegoers have stopped debating the ambiguities of Christopher Nolan’s twisty new thrill ride into the subconscious."
In 2007, the middle of July would definitely be too early to start thinking about the Oscars. Back then, Hollywood loaded up its prestige fare in the fall so that it would stay fresh in the minds of Academy voters. Yet last year, four of the ten Best Picture nominees--including winner The Hurt Locker--were released in the summer. So Inception’s chances for a best picture nomination may not be a farfetched idea.
The Warner Bros. release cleared the first hurdle last weekend when it opened to a solid $60.4 million in North America. Oscar nominees don’t have to be box office blockbusters, but if Nolan’s fan base hadn’t shown up en masse, that would have damaged the movie’s chances.
Still according to Reuters, "Such other visionary movies as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and The Matrix all failed to earn best picture nominations, though they picked up nominations in other categories. On the other hand, it might be a good omen that Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, his 1945 plunge into Freudian dream analysis and surrealism, earned best picture and director nominations. Inception should also prove competitive in a wide range of categories, and, with 10 slots to fill, that would help push it into best picture contention.
"Now, it’s all a question of how the industry responds over the coming weeks and months. First reactions, which trickled in over the weekend, were for the most part upbeat. ’I saw Inception last night & had a good time, but must admit it’s a bit trite & stilted. Still though, leagues above most drivel,’" producer Ted Hope wrote to his Twitter followers.
In another tweet, Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof, no stranger to mind-bending puzzlers, exclaimed, ’I wish that someone would break into my dreams and give me an idea HALF as good as INCEPTION.’"
(Still playing across the Philippines in IMAX, Digital 2D and regular format, Inception is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.)