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'Inception' ignites Oscars debate among bloggers

July 6, 2010 | 11:39 am

Inception Leonardo DiCaprio Christopher Nolan Academy Awards Oscars poster "Inception" does not open for 10 days, but this latest film from writer-director Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") has already set off a spirited debate in the blogosphere about its potential at the Oscars. The bloggers all judge "Inception" to be an outstanding sci-fi action thriller. However, there is divided opinion as to whether "Inception" is a lock to contend for the top Academy Awards.

Steve Pond of the Wrap says the movie "will no doubt have some naysayers; it won't follow 'Toy Story 3' in flirting with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating. (Of the handful of people I know who've seen it, most loved it, but one really, really hated it.) And it might be too much of a sci-fi, special-effects-genre picture to win over the more conservative elements of the Academy come Oscar time. But remember: If the Academy's move to 10 best picture nominations can be laid at the feet of any one film, that film was Nolan's last one, 'The Dark Knight.' It’s hard to imagine that voters won’t find this one thrilling enough to put it in the 10, and in quite a few other categories as well."

For Greg Ellwood of HitFix, the film "should benefit from strong reviews and is clearly a player in a number of categories this Oscar season. However, 'Inception' won't be for everyone. As noted, the picture requires the viewer to pay close attention to events even as they are clearly spelled out in front of them. Not all audiences will be prepared to have to 'think' during their summer movie season, but those that go for the ride will find an incredibly stimulating reward hit them before the credits roll."

Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood believes "this eye-popping film will wow moviegoers all over the world -- its complexities will only encourage debate and repeat viewings -- and should also score well with critics and year-end awards groups. Oscar nominations in technical categories are a certainty, but 'Inception' is also a strong contender for multiple nominations, including best picture."

Writing about those best picture hopes of "Inception," Kris Tapley of InContention cautions that it "cannot be a film that drifts away under the onslaught of latter-summer entries and still make it into contention. And I wonder if it will confuse too many voters." However, he adds, "Best director SHOULD be a no-brainer. The film reeks of Nolan's commitment at the helm and is an auteur feast in some sense. Surely his fellow directors will think as much, right? Well, where were they two years ago? As for best original screenplay, again, where were the writers two years ago? And this is frankly a lesser script than 'The Dark Knight' on the basis of thematic resilience, even if it is a more sophisticated script on the basis of structure. I would not be surprised if it was snubbed, and yet I would not be surprised if it wins every single original screenplay honor throughout the circuit. Chalk it up as one more 'maybe' in my book."

Let's leave the last word to one of the first Oscar bloggers, Sasha Stone of Awards Daily, who concludes, "We will have to wait a bit before calling 'Inception' for Oscar. There are still some open-ended questions about whether critics will embrace it, audiences will flock to it, or if its 'genre' is outside the scope of what the Academy yearns for." However, Sasha says, "If it were me, it would be an easy call as one of the 10 best pictures of the year, maybe even of the last 10."

Photo: "Inception" poster. Credit: Warner Bros.

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