5 Reasons Why We Love Christopher Nolan - Mania.com

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5 Reasons Why We Love Christopher Nolan

Inception just is the latest Nolan classic

By Hanso     July 15, 2010


We anxiously await Inception, a movie directed by Chris Nolan because he is a man that reminds us that cerebral and fun aren’t mutually exclusive. Nolan is one of the best directors in the game and today we tell you exactly why it is we love him.

Christopher Nolan Mottos

5. No To Unnecessary 3-D

No one really wanted 3-D, it was unleashed upon us by Hollywood as a way to get us to leave our home theaters, combat piracy and more importantly rape our wallets. Don’t get us wrong, 3-D like anything else, when done correctly works well but when studios do rush job 3-D conversions in a blatant money grab attempt it quickly turns to crap. You may be thinking what the hell does this have to do with Chris Nolan? Well Chris Nolan isn’t a fan of 3-D, he has his reasons having to do with the technical aspects of shooting in the format and would rather go through the 3-D conversion process but not if it means screwing up the movie. For his latest film, Inception, Nolan went through the conversion process and had he given the green light Inception would be releasing in 3-D this July 16, 2010. However, Nolan nixed the idea due to his dissatisfaction with the end result. So think about it, a movie with a rumored $200 million budget could use any and every extra dollar it can get but Nolan isn’t concerned about that, he stays true to his vision and delivering the best possible film to movie going audiences rather than worry about a few extra dollars.

Christopher Nolan Mottos

4. The Implausible Made Plausible

Whether it is playing in a dream world, magic, cloning or superheroes, Chris Nolan can make you believe anything is possible. Nolan grounds his work no matter how outlandish the subject and does it by focusing on the stories and characters. He uses science and logic to set up his worlds and make it relatable to the viewers. Look what he did with Batman, setting him up with true military tech to give Batman’s toys authenticity and using the city of Chicago to bring Gotham City. For The Prestige he never went with crazy magic but rather real tricks and even when science fiction elements kicked in he had an explanation for it by tying it back to cloning.  Nolan also adds realism to his films by staying away from too much CG use. He would rather shoot on location and use practical shots as opposed to have his movies be a CG fest. When he has to rely on CG shots he always tries to give an actual shot of something to the special effects guys so they have a point of reference to work with because he feels this allows them to come up with a better looking shot. All this allows Nolan to deliver films that even with fantasy elements seem plausible.

Christopher Nolan Mottos

3. Characters

Nolan’s characters aren’t your usual cookie cutter characters but rather complex well-rounded ones that deal in a moral grey area that make you question if you should be rooting for them in the first place. Usually these characters are stricken by some kind of disability be it memory loss, lack of sleep or a struggle with inner demons and are driven by emotions like revenge, jealousy or guilt. Initially you don’t know if you should trust them and the way Nolan likes to tell his stories out of chronological order, makes it even harder to trust them because the twists and turns Nolan puts into place makes the viewer rethink their position on a character. It’s all very noir-ish, a genre Nolan is a fan of. We think what Nolan does with his characters is awesome because it forces you to pay attention to the characters and their actions in order to get an idea of who they really are and why they do what they do.

Christopher Nolan Mottos

2. No Fabricated Stars

Odds are you’ve seen more emotional depth coming out of a vegetable than you’ve seen coming from Channing Tatum and Megan Fox’s entire acting career hence why they never been in a Chris Nolan film. See, Chris Nolan doesn’t use fabricated stars like Tatum or Fox. Since day one he has been more concerned with finding true actors, up and comers and people that can service his story rather than going for the hottest It name of the moment or big names that can overpower a film. Admittedly some of Nolan’s casting choices can make you say WTF? when you first hear of them. Just look at some of his casting decisions; unknown Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow, comedic actor Robin Williams as a killer and of course his leftfield choice of casting Heath Ledger to play Batman’s most iconic villain, The Joker. Yet the final result was all these choices worked and they did because not only does Nolan have an eye for talent, he also puts complete trust in his actors to deliver which is why at the end of the day all of his films always end up exceptionally cast.

Christopher Nolan Mottos

1. Substance Over Style

Finally, we love Chris Nolan because unlike Michael Bay, Stephen Sommers or any of the usual suspects that pride themselves in delivering mindless films that only grab people’s attention by flashing bright lights on the screen, Nolan can deliver that same spectacle while at the same time adding substance to it. He makes you think as you watch and likes to center his movies on an idea and how that idea can drive a story. That’s vastly different from the usual “action sequence dictates the story” approach a lot of movies have nowadays. He lets the viewer interpret instead of telling them what it is. Once again take Nolan’s entry to the summer blockbuster realm with the Batman franchise. The beauty of what he has done with that franchise is that you can watch it strictly as a Batman movie and completely enjoy it yet the films work on a deeper level that deals with revenge, inner demons, terrorism, love, corruption etc. He completely blew the lid of what a superhero movie could be and by shooting some of the action scenes in IMAX he changed the scope of how we can witness them. That brings us back to the main reason we love Nolan, right now he’s one of the few filmmakers that can completely entertain you while at the same time deliver something that won’t make you feel empty as soon as you step out of the movie theatre.

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charmer 7/15/2010 12:50:01 AM

Can't wait for Inception: from the reviews so far, it looks to be another Nolan classic!

goatartist 7/15/2010 12:51:02 AM

No doubt

Chopsaki 7/15/2010 2:05:11 AM

Christopher Nolan is great and Hanso owns son but this list is a little Batman centric (shocker I know) when making distinctions from other movies, filmakers & stylistic choices. A Christopher Nolan break down with no mention of Memento tsk tsk.

That being said some great points. I really love how he creates tension while maintaining a fast pace. Also I've noticed a running theme in all his movies dealing with the psychology of revenge. I wonder if that theme will manifest itself in Inception. I'm looking forward to seeing what Chris and Jonathan do with Superman as well.

Darkknight2280 7/15/2010 5:07:30 AM

Hanos was given a chance to talk about his not so secret lover Christopher Nolan! lol Seriously though these are all good points, he is a great film maker; no doubt about that!

Muenster 7/15/2010 5:26:30 AM

I like the man's work, but it's going around that "Inception" looks like it's going to be brilliantly awful. So, it may not do well at the box office. I've read that it may be too smart for dumb audiences. That may be true and that's usually hollywood code for: long and boring.

Not sure if mental-floss movies can make it anymore. I plan on it seeing it though, despite the presence of DeCrapio. (If Mr. Nolan had to put up him then I guess I can for 148 minutes. Wait... 148 minutes?!)

Wiseguy 7/15/2010 5:43:43 AM

Memento is Nolan's best film. Everything else is decent but nothing outstanding IMO.

I hate his take on Batman. Begins was a borefest but TDK's bank trumps everything

Nolan's mindfuck tricks are getting a bit tired I think and him trying to outdo himself everytime is inevitably going to lead him wrong. Inception may be the film that does it. Is a must see film but from rome reviews it sounds like he's trying to be too smart and looks dumb at the end. Oh wait, that was TDK also, oh well. Hey as long as the cat keeps making money no one is going to care. Inception I think may struggle to recoup its 200mil plus cost


Thorn 7/15/2010 5:50:14 AM

 I agree with Chopsaki... no love for Memento? Come on.

almostunbiased 7/15/2010 6:44:58 AM

LOVE is such a strong word.  I like the guy.

Inception looks great, hope I get a chance to see it in the theaters.  I have only seen 3 of his movies, but he is a reallt great director.  Still think Begins is better than Dark Knight though.  The Prestige was awesome and maybe his best, but I did figure it out before the end, so not brilliant.  I still need to see Momento as I hear that is his best work.

Oh and I didn't like DeCaprio early in his career, but the dude is a great actor and I really appreciate him now.  He's kind of like Brad (arm)Pitt.  A pretty boy that has become a true actor.

monkeyfoot 7/15/2010 6:59:06 AM

Excellent points. Nolan does stand out among most of the "Bigger Than Life" movie directors in that there is more meat on the bones in his films. Not from Raimi or Bay. Sometimes from Abrams, Zemekis,Cameron, Spielberg, and others but they don't always press it too hard. This is not to put them or any other "Big Event" filmmaker down. I love many of their films as well. Nolan just seems to push great substance, drama, and character all the time.

I'll finish watching The Terminator and think "That was a great, great popcorn movie." But I'll finish watching The Dark Knight and not only do I have the flavor of fantastic popcorn but I also taste the meaty steak of films like Taxi Driver, The Godfather and The French Connection. "Popcorn" movies with substance from the independant filmmakers of the '70s.  Or at least I have so far. He might be on the forefront of making that type of BTL film more of a mainstay.

Though I thought the top reason was going to be that he will cuddle after great sex :0) 

skyn3t 7/15/2010 7:30:37 AM

As a Terminator fan, I will go on record and say Nolan is probably one of the best directors in modern history (even trumping Cameron).

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