Why I’m Not Doing the Zero-Gravity Dance Over Inception

My review of Inception is a two-parter, and it goes up on Good Letters, the Image blog, today and tomorrow. Here’s Part One.

Basically, Part One is about why I think it’s interesting but ultimately disappointing.

Oh, but there are some very cool things in Inception. For example, turn on your speakers and check this out…

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Rick Ro.

    As evidence for my statement, “Filmdom is rampant with movies that stride a chord with one person, while falling flat for another,” I’ll point everyone to Metacritic:


    Overall score of 74, with Roger Ebert giving it 100 and Rex Reed giving it 25. Same movie, two wildly differing experiences and opinions.

  • Rick Ro.

    Jeffrey, I look forward to Part Two! And yes, I understand your point, too. Filmdom is rampant with movies that strike a chord with one person, while falling flat for another. For me…I almost leapt out of my seat with excitement at the closing sequence of Inception. I thought it was beautifully done. And I enjoyed the journey that led up to the payoff.

  • http://www.lookingcloser.org closerlooker

    Rick, I get all of that. I like it as an idea. It’s a perfectly wonderful message. But the movie has to make the message come alive, and this one didn’t… for me. I wish it had.

    (And remember, you’ve only read half of my review. Part Two – the stuff that I *like* about the film – is going up tomorrow.)

  • Rick Ro.

    Jeffrey, I sent a semi-rebuttal to your review at Image. I saw some deeper, simpler spiritual (or maybe “philosophical”) truths in the movie that made this one of my best movie experiences in a long time. They all revolved around the idea of “what did Leonardo Dicaprio’s character need to surrender to find joy?” (The joy symbolized by his “just out of reach” children, what he needed to surrender symbolized by his “totem.”) The closing scene and image were absolutely wonderful in what they conveyed about that.

    The movie thus has likewise made me wonder what things I’m holding onto myself that keep me from experiencing joy. A message I think Jesus Christ himself would like us to ask ourselves.

    I enjoyed reading your review, but had a different experience. Thanks for running such a great blog!

  • http://chadhub.blogspot.com/ Chad Ethridge

    Very cool.