Director Monday: Christopher Nolan


Kicking off the first Director Appreciation day, I thought I’d start off with one of my favorites. Christopher Nolan has directed and penned many successful films.

Most notably, the themes often seen in his movies revolve around existential questions about identity and perception. Nolan has a few awards to back up his credentials such as winning awards for “The Dark Knight” and “Inception”. Between the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, and BAFTA Nolan has earned 11 wins.

Nolan has a knack for getting a charismatic ensemble cast together for each movie. Big names draw big crowds, but it’s the intricately woven storyline that makes re-watching Nolan’s films enticing. A re-watch is highly recommended because each time a small piece of the puzzle is discovered. This happens every time I decide to watch “Inception” or “The Prestige” which both use narrative misdirection to lead the audience’s attention elsewhere.

A crafty sleight of hand may be missed on the first watch but it’s these little parts of the movies that make it come together in the end. Usually on the first viewing, the audience’s attention is captured by trying to figure out the plot, remembering who the characters are, and keeping up with the conversation. It doesn’t leave much room for your brain to notice the minor pieces playing in the background. Then come the ending, it feels like an epiphany when you realize what has just played out in front of you.

To me, the movies Nolan has directed and wrote are genius. A few others think so too. According to Rotten Tomatoes, most of Nolan’s movies were rated at 85% or higher. Even Roger Ebert had to agree that Nolan’s films were pretty good when he rated three of the films at his highest rating. There’s also the fact that Nolan “redefines the comic-book movie” as stated in Ebert’s review of “The Dark Knight”.

So the best audience for a Nolan movie? His movies tend to go over two hours and sometimes it’s best to “go with the flow” with confusing plots. If you don’t mind these two details then there is a chance Nolan may become one of your favorite directors too.

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