Before this afternoon's Warner Bros. presentation at ShoWest I asked Christopher Nolan how much he was about to reveal about Inception, and he replied "Not much." And while the selected footage he showed off revealed very little about the story, and exactly what's causing all the amazing visuals and fight scenes, it was all stunning. Almost too much to process, really-- the minute I started scrawling notes about people falling down snowy mountains, it was on to a scene of Joseph Gordon-Levitt floating in zero gravity and tying up a bunch of corpses.
Perhaps the biggest plot detail revealed is that Leonardo DiCaprio's investigator character isn't just using technology to jump into peoples' minds, but into their dreams-- as he sees it there are people who would use this dream-investigation technology for evil, and it's up to him and partner Joseph Gordon-Levitt to stop them. One of the few dialogue scenes involves the two of them explaining their job to Ken Wantanabe's character, though it's unclear exactly who he is and if he's on their side during the action scenes we see later. And despite initial speculation that Gordon-Levitt may be a villain character, he and DiCaprio seems to be partners-- though DiCaprio does let him have it in one scene, which might mean a rift develops between them that makes Gordon-Levitt the villain in the end.
We finally get to see Michael Caine in the film, seemingly some kind of recruitment officer for the agency that employs DiCaprio, convincing Ellen Page to join his time. "Like job placement?" Page asks, making both of them chuckle. Will Michael Caine's character basically be DiCaprio's equivalent of Alfred? We can only hope so.
There was a lot more Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the footage, which convinced me he's more of a lead role than I previously believed, but there was also intriguingly little of Marion Cotillard-- we see her holding a gun a few times, but mostly she's shown crying or smiling or hugging DiCaprio. Her character may very well be the most mysterious of them all.
It's hard to describe much of the scenery featured in the movie, from the elevator opening into a room without gravity to the city folding up and falling into the ocean and Ken Wantanabe's gorgeous office. Because so much of the movie apparently takes place in dreams, much of the imagery follows no rules of logic-- just beauty. I'm not sure how much of the Inception footage screened today will ever make it into a trailer or online-- Nolan seemed mostly to want to throw a bone to the exhibitors who will be showing his crazy esoteric movie-- but it made me all the more excited for what Inception had to offer. In the midst of a really impressive WB presentation, Inception was probably the most exciting of all.
There's lots more still to come from today's Warner Bros. presentation, so keep checking back!