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 has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • 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.