With Dunkirk hitting cinemas on July 21st. Oscar buzz has started around its director Christopher Nolan who looks set to get his first nomination for Best Director. Here at Spin, we are big fans of the talented English director. Below is our list of his top flops and five best films. Enjoy
A boring, pretentious mess of a film. Nolan’s ambitious Sci-Fi epic fails to ignite and is hampered by some truly awful dialogue. A near 3 hour run time and cringe-inducing ending with love as the 5th dimension (which is every bit as stupid as it sounds) means Interstellar props up our list.
The brain-bending thriller stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a thief who steals corporate secrets from sleeping minds. With an amazing cast including Tom Hardy and Michael Caine “Inception” is Nolan’s take on a Bond film. It doesn’t quite trust its audience to keep up with the film grinding to a halt for 30mins to essentially give a “previously on Inception”.
SPIN FACT: If you take the first letters of the main characters' names - Dom, Robert, Eames, Arthur, Mal and Saito - they spell "Dreams".
Nolan’s directorial feature debut, made for only $6,000. Following tells the story of a man who follows strangers around the streets of London and meets a thief who takes him under his wing. Shot in black and white, the film is a tense little thriller that shows glimpses of the promise Nolan would go on to prove in bigger budget movies.
SPIN FACT: The apartment they break into has a Batman sticker on the door. Christopher Nolan would later go on to direct "The Dark Knight Trilogy"
An underrated gem that deserves to be re-watched in the light of Robin Williams passing. Here Williams plays the creepy killer being pursued by Al Pacino’s sleep-deprived detective.
SPIN FACT: Robin Williams was originally slated to play the Joker in Batman (1989) and was later approached to play the Riddler in Batman Forever (1995)
- The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t as satisfactory an ending as was hoped but Tom Hardy’s Bane is endlessly watchable and as cheesy as it was, I quite enjoyed the “Robin” revel. Yes, the ending could have been handled so much better and we have no clue how he got back to Gotham either or where Aidan Gillen gets his accents from. But it is still a cut above most superhero fare.
SPIN FACT: During the courtroom scene, Bane can be seen knitting off to the side.
Guy Pearce plays a man who suffers short-term memory loss, trying to unravel the mystery behind murderer of his wife. Unable to trust his own recollections he starts tattooing notes all over his body in an effort to try to keep track of his clues.
SPIN FACT: An Easter egg on the DVD allows you to watch the events of the film in chronological order.
- The Prestige
Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman play rival magicians in the 19th Century. When Angier’s (Jackman) wife dies during a performance, he blames Borden (Bale) and so begins a deadly game of one-upmanship in an effort to come up with the perfect illusion.
SPIN FACT: Nikola Tesla played by David Bowie was a world-renowned inventor, physicist, and engineer. He is also credited with inventing the first electric light bulb before Thomas Edison
- The Dark Knight
Forever to be tied with Heath Ledger's tragic passing. The Dark Knight is a breathless entertainment at its finest. Ledger delivers one of the finest performances in cinema history, at no point do you see the star of “10 things I hate about you” and “Brokeback Mountain” on the screen. He simply is the Joker, his tragic passing meant that praise was going to be forthcoming including an Oscar win it’s hard to of seen outside of the tragic circumstances. But make no mistake his performance deserves to be revered regardless of circumstance.
SPIN FACT: Matt Damon was offered the part of Harvey Dent, but had to turn it down because of a schedule conflict with Invictus
- Batman Begins
The pinnacle of superhero movies, Nolan reinvented Batman after the neon nightmare of Batman & Robin. Ledger’s performance of the Joker in The Dark Knight is undoubtedly the best thing about the trilogy but for sheer movie mastery, it’s hard to top Batman Begins. SPIN FACT: Joshua Jackson(Pacey on Dawson's Creek) Henry Cavill and Jake Gyllenhaal all auditioned for the role of Batman.
Let us know if you agree or disagree with our choices. Andrew and Gordon Hayden will be discussing Christopher Nolan in more detail on “We Love Movies” show on Spin 103.8 on Sunday at 11:45 am
By Andrew McCarroll