'Inception,' Cont.

More

Thinking more on this sentence from A.O. Scott's review:


The accomplishments of "Inception" are mainly technical, which is faint praise only if you insist on expecting something more from commercial entertainment. That audiences do -- and should -- expect more is partly, I suspect, what has inspired some of the feverish early notices hailing "Inception" as a masterpiece, just as the desire for a certifiably great superhero movie led to the wild overrating of "The Dark Knight."

Also listened to David Edelstien's piece over at NPR titled "Inception a Masterpiece? Only In Someone's Dream." Our own Chris Orr calls it disappointing.

I wonder how much of the movie's reception is influenced by the narrative around Christopher Nolan. He is, essentially, the guy who makes summer blockbusters for the high-minded. I get the sense that reviewers have a good deal of respect for Nolan's talent, but with the respect comes high expectations. The extent to which Nolan fulfills those expectations then becomes a subject of debate. The result is that while critics are certainly mainly reviewing the movie, they're also are, in part, reviewing each other.

It's likely that this is a common feature of criticism. I actually wouldn't know, having read so little of it in other art-forms.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In