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The creative force behind Dunkirk and The Dark Knight is the driving force behind a bold and challenging cinematic journey called Inception, an effective blend of science fiction, corporate espionage, and star-crossed romance that requires complete attention, which doesn't always pay off, but keeps the viewer engaged because of an edgy story, effectively served by a sterling cast and state of the art production values.

This 2010 roller coaster ride stars Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio as Dom Cobb, a thief who, along with his partner, Arthur (Joseph Gordon Levitt) has made a very comfortable living by stealing corporate secrets by entering into people's dreams, a technology known as extraction. He has now been offered a job that could set him for life that has never been done before. A Japanese businessman wants Cobb to plant an idea into the dreams of an important CEO, process known as inception. Cobb knows the process, but is beyond the scope of his and Arthur's skillset and they must assemble an elite circle of specialists to pull this off.

Director and screenwriter Christopher Nolan has completely redefined the "And then I woke up" genre of film making here. He has employed endless imagination and eye-popping movie technology in making the concept of getting inside of people's head and controlling destiny through their dreams a viable concept. The story is given a more human layer as Cobb's personal demons come to light, revealing how Cobb's work has kept him separated from his family. Not long after the character of Cobb's wife (Marian Coitillard) is introduced, we're thrown when it's revealed she is dead but that in no way keeps her from being pertinent part of this story.

Nolan's attention to continuity is impressive here as the action switches with often lightning fast pace from dream to awake. Often we're not sure what is awake here until the abrupt cut to sleep (with a strong assist from film editor Lee Smith and often the viewer's wait to find out what state we're in is unbearably long, but it keep the viewer on its toes. The film is rich with visual images unlike anything ever seen. There is one incredible scene where characters are seen walking down a city street and the far end of the street actually unearths and folds itself on top of the other side of the street...absolutely spectacular. Nolan's imagination and the technical craftsmen he has assembled to pull this off work in perfect tandem to create amazing visuals that often legitimize the often completely illogical elements of the story. And you gotta love Arthur's fight scenes without gravity.

DiCaprio is solid, as always and works well with Levitt as his cynical partner. Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Ken Wantanabe, Tom Berenger, and Pete Postlewaithe head up the supporting cast who effectively serve Nolan's vision. The film received eight Oscar nomination, including Best Picture and won richly deserved wards for cinematography, sound mixing, sound editing, and especially visual effects. It's a slightly exhausting journey for the viewer, but it's worth the challenge and a triumph for Christopher Nolan.