NOLAN RANKINGS: PART 2

Here we go, now we get to the fun stuff!

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I know guys, The Dark Knight is objectively better than Batman Begins, but as a pure Batman movie, Begins is the best! I appreciate how Nolan balances the grounded realism with the fantastical elements of the character while never favoring one over the other. The set design for the Narrows is so dirty and gothic and it still remains my favorite interpretation of Gotham City. Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne is full of layers like an onion and it’s the deepest we’ve ever gotten to know the character. No matter how many would argue for Affleck as the best Batman, he doesn’t hold a candle to Bale’s performance! As a Nolan film, it’s great, but as a Batman film, it’s the perfect live-action interpretation of the character we’ve ever gotten.

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Following may have been Nolan’s first film, but Memento officially put Nolan on the map as the director of our generation. The editing of Memento is so disorienting and accurately puts you in the head of Guy Pearce’s Leonard Shelby, who suffers from anterograde amnesia. Because of the character’s amnesia, Guy Pearce’s performance as the unreliable narrator always leaves you guessing, but despite that, he’s able to draw out sympathy for a character who’s ultimately a tragic figure. What might seem like a gimmick at first glance is actually a moving character piece about guilt and the lies we tell ourselves to escape them.

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Dunkirk is a pure rollercoaster ride and only deserves to be seen in a theater! From its start to its end, it’s always gripping you by the throat and never let’s you have a moment to breathe. For all of you saying there aren’t any characters to care about, please watch Dunkirk again and observe how each character reacts to the events transpiring around them. There isn’t much in terms of dialogue, but each character has something about them that makes them stand out. Dunkirk is the perfect showcase for Nolan’s range and his proficiency as a filmmaker.

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Obsession, lies, and dead women are the driving themes in Nolan’s films and while some would argue that Inception was the culmination of all those themes, I think The Prestige did it better. I don’t know why Nolan and Bale don’t work together more often because their collaborations together are always solid. If you’re due for a rewatch, pay close attention to Bale’s performance because he has so many subtle moments that you’d never notice on first viewing. Hugh Jackman was born for this role because it plays up on all his best features as a charismatic performer. No matter how many times I rewatch The Prestige, I’m always finding something new to admire about it.

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I’ve only seen Interstellar twice and even on this recent rewatch, it still gave me the same emotional response that I got the first time I saw it. Best score, best cinematography, best Nolan movie! For such a massive film, this is the most personal Nolan’s ever felt for me and it’s incredible how he brings home the themes of love amidst a sprawling space epic. I can’t get enough of Interstellar and from the moment it starts to the moment it ends, Interstellar will take you on an emotional journey that will leave you feeling emotionally fulfilled.

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