Well, there you go: Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” held onto the top spot at the domestic box-office for a second weekend, fending off the challenge of Angelina Jolie’s “Salt” $43.5 million to $36.5 million despite being nearly an hour longer and, by all reports, much more thinky.
“Inception” — which has grossed a healthy $143.7 million in North America so far — is turning out to be the cinematic argument starter of the summer — as divisive, in its way, as Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” was two years ago. And the media is wise to it: Over at Salon, Sam Adams has written an excellent walk-through of the movie’s plot and discusses its potential interpretations, while the New York Times’ A.O. Scott mulls the critical response (and the inevitable interweb reaction to said response) in an interesting think-piece. And Roger Ebert focuses on the canted angles in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s epic fight sequence, because other movies have used canted angles. I’m not sure I get the point of that.
I enjoy reading other critics after I’ve seen a film and written my own review, and it’s been particularly entertaining to see people interpret the film in radically different ways. To return to the same joke I humped throughout my NXNEi panel, it’s so much more fun to read intelligent people argue back and forth over an interesting movie than it is to read a hundred pans of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”. There are only so many ways you can register disappointment; sure, three or four of them will be clever, but in the end you’ve still spent all your time reading about “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”. And who wants to do that every week?