Christopher Nolan is an expert at getting people talking about his movies, and the movie of his that arguably inspired the most debate is 2010's Inception.
The thriller tells the story of Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. An 'extractor', he is an expert at extracting information from people's minds via their dreams, but he must pull off the opposite - planting an idea in someone's mind - in order to return home to his family after being accused of murdering his wife.
Throughout the movie, viewers must speculate as to whether what they are seeing is a dream sequence or in real life. At the conclusion of the movie, Cobb successfully reunites with his family, but the spinning top that he uses to determine a dream versus reality does not topple.
The debate has never been settled, not even by Nolan himself, but he believes that it ultimately doesn't matter if the ending was a dream as Cobb got what he wanted regardless - his family back.
"I went through a phase where the film came out, where I was asked that a lot," Nolan said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
"I think it was Emma who pointed out the correct answer... the point of the shot is the character doesn’t care at that point. It’s not a question I comfortably answer."
Michael Caine was also part of the cast for Inception and explained to Esquire that Nolan mentioned to him that whenever his character was on the screen, that wasn't a dream sequence. As Professor Stephen Miles is indeed there for Dom to take him back to his family at the conclusion of the movie, we can perhaps assume it wasn't a dream.
But, the ambiguity will remain until Nolan decides to let us know.
Thriller / Scifi
2010 • 148 minutes