Inception An Opportunity for Oscar Gold?

There’s a LOT of buzz surrounding the latest effort from Christopher Nolan. Inception is set to open Friday and predictions are wildly scattered as to how audiences will receive the film. One thing is certain: critics are positively gushing over the film. Words like “engrossing” and “logic-resistant” are being used to describe the film, and one critic called it “A film erupting with ideas, ambition and intelligence, one that credits the viewer with the capacity for some mental heavy lifting.” Will that be enough in February when Oscar season rolls around?

In fact, despite the incredible cast lined up for the film, there are only two Oscar winners involved. Nope, not Leonard DiCaprio. Not Ellen Page or Ken Wanatabe either. Only Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine have won an Academy Award. Cotillard earned one for her turn in La vie en rose and Caine has won for The Cider House Rules and Hannah and Her Sisters.

Over on Rotten Tomatoes the film is currently sitting easy with a 97% rating, but will it matter come Oscar time?

DiCaprio has been nominated three times (Blood Diamond, The Aviator, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) but has never won. Page was nominated for Juno, and probably should have been for Hard Candy, but has yet to get the nod. Tom Berenger received a nomination for Platoon, but came up empty – losing to Caine that year.

The brilliant Wanatabe was among the finalists for his role in The Last Samurai, but Tim Robbins took home the hardware that year for Mystic River. Pete Postlethwaite (The Usual Suspects) got his only nomination in 1993 for In the Name of the Father and Nolan himself remains without an Oscar, despite being nominated for Memento.

Will this be the year one of these very talented and deserving actors or director finally lands the industry’s highest achievement award? Perhaps they’ll settle for a film that rakes in hundreds of millions at the box office.

What do you think? Will you go see Inception? Do you like movies that require thinking? Are middle-America audiences ready for a “nuanced” film with “carefully balanced ambiguities”?

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