Fantastic Planets #18: Inception

Sci Fi Blog Series Web Slide

This year, four science fiction-loving booksellers will delve into Fantastic Planets, Forbidden Zones, and Lost Continents: The 100 Greatest Science-Fiction Films, the new book by film historian Douglas Brode. They’ll watch the movies, read Brode’s take, and tell you – point blank – how they feel about all of it.

This post written by Demi, BookKids Event and Marketing Coordinator.

OK, so–I’m a little biased. One of the first things my partner and I bonded over when we met was this weird little film directed by Christopher Nolan called Inception. At a time when I was still working out who I was and what I wanted, this film about the power of dreams changed…everything.

Tom Hardy (Eames) & Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Arthur)

Inception is, at its core, a heist movie. In the near-future, thieves use dream technology to lift corporate secrets for oodles and oodles of money. In one such instance, the technology is used to plant an idea, rather than steal information, which is something that has never been done before and is incredibly difficult to pull off. A perfect reverse-heist. It’s an incredibly attractive life to be a dream thief (I mean, Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Tom Hardy are in it, so…) if you can ignore the fact that Interpol are almost certainly going to be after you until the end of time.


It is not a serious movie, though Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance will make you believe it’s supposed to be. It’s not even a serious science-fiction movie–the PASIV technology is vague and undefined, simply a storytelling tool. It is about loss, about grief, about family, and maybe just a little bit about how nice Tom Hardy looks in an expensive suit. And I love it.

Does the top ever fall? Does the dream ever end?

What I love, even more than the slightly holey plot and the slightly holey ending, is the world of Inception–the possibility. Science fiction allows for an expansion of the things we already understand, and for the chance to make right mistakes we regret. In the world of Inception, you can take back the horrible thing you said when you were angry, or practice asking that girl out before you give her your number. You can say goodbye to a loved one, or destroy a room in frustration. You can play pretend.

For those of us with overactive imaginations the world of Inception is a dream. (See what I did there?) I would love to live in a world permitting me to see my daydreams come to life, constructed by my subconscious. I have never been able to lucid dream–but how amazing would it be?

I don’t know that I’d want murderous Marion Cotillard running around in my brain, but as I’m sure is obvious, Tom Hardy is always invited.

4 thoughts on “Fantastic Planets #18: Inception

  1. My husband and I used to argue about this movie all the time. I love it, he thinks it’s stupid. I told him in our vows that I’d always admit when he was right. This is not one of those times.

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