Christopher Nolan at 50: his films from worst to best according to your ratings

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While “Tenet” is now due for release on August 26th, discover the ranking of Christopher Nolan’s films established according to your notes, to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of the English director.

Warner Bros. Pictures

In this month of July 2020, Christopher Nolan should have been at the party in more than one way, since the release of his new opus, the highly anticipated Tenet, was to take place a few days before his fiftieth birthday. While he is celebrating this anniversary on Thursday, July 30, and to wait until his next feature film, now scheduled for August 26, here is the ranking of his previous ten, established from your ratings. Will number 1 surprise you?

10 – INSOMNIA (2002)

3.6 out of 5 (8,800 ratings)– A good average, but a place of red lantern which can be explained by the fact that this is the least Nolanian of his films. If only because this Insomnia, remake of the Norwegian thriller of the same name commissioned by Warner, is the only feature in his filmography for which he did not write the screenplay. Articulated around the psychological and tense face-to-face between Al Pacino and Robin Williams, this cat and mouse game between a murderer and a police officer responsible for the death of his partner in an Alaska where the sun does not set. no lack of qualities, and fits perfectly in the work of its director, through the notions of mourning, manipulation or time, here represented by the absence of sleep of the main character and his loss of reference points. At the arrival,

9 – FOLLOWING (1998)

3.8 out of 5 (1,224 ratings)– Released confidentially in French cinemas on December 1, 1999, after a visit to the British Film Festival in Dinard, Following left its mark on its rare audience, who felt that its director, then aged 29, was to be followed. Which fits well with the title of his first feature film, in which we already find several of his obsessions: handling of course, the fragmented narration with great reinforcements of flashbacks, and even a character called Cobb, like the future hero of Inception. Shot in black and white, to stick with the color blindness of its author, the film matches the shades of gray of his cinema, and is presented as a draft of what he subsequently signed. Seeing it in retrospect, after what followed, can therefore weaken its strength,

8 – DUNKIRK (2017)

3.9 out of 5 (20,007 ratings)– Is this the genre of the feature film itself? His scenario more refined than usual? His concept which has somewhat lost you? More than ever eager to make the cinema hall an experience, the filmmaker immerses us in the evacuation of the Allied troops from the North of France in May 1940, which interweaves three points of view and as many places (land, sea, sky ) and temporalities (one week, one day, one hour), but Dunkirk appears quite low in your ranking. Awarded three Oscars (Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing), this opus remains a technical tour de force for Christopher Nolan, who tackles the war film in a personal way, by encapsulating it in a time bubble where echoes the persistent ticking of the original Hans Zimmer soundtrack,

7 – BATMAN BEGINS (2005)

4.1 out of 5 (54,995 marks) – We will not necessarily speak of a miracle, because it was enough “just” to do things well to succeed in resuscitating the Bat-Man. But this Batman Begins was expected around the corner: by the public, scalded by Batman & Robin then Catwoman; and by the industry, curious to see if the new superheroic wave initiated by Spider-Man and the X-Men could continue with the DC Comics catalog star. Despite a global box office below $ 400 million in revenue, the results are positive. There are plenty of pacing issues and a villain, Ra’s Al Ghul, a little less convincing than hoped. But by making a clean sweep of the past and drawing inspiration from the comic book “Year One”from Frank Miller than from thrillers such as French Connection, Christopher Nolan succeeds with a realistic approach to the character, and an impeccable Christian Bale in the costume. More than encouraging beginnings with a final which announces an explosive continuation.

6 – MEMENTO (2000)

4.2 out of 5 (26,754)– Three prizes at Deauville, one at Sundance, two Oscar nominations (Best Screenplay and Best Editing)… If Following has allowed him to get noticed, it is with Memento that Christopher Nolan begins to make a name for himself with the public and the profession, and in particular the Warner who will make him his foal shortly after. Co-written with his brother Jonathan, this formidable thriller may seem classic on paper, since we find a femme fatale and a story of revenge and manipulation around the main character, suffering from immediate memory loss that prevents it to remember what happened beyond the last ten minutes. But it is in his way of telling the story that the filmmaker impresses and prefigures the rest of his filmography. Because the feature film unfolds the sequences backwards, starting from the end to end at the beginning, which plunges us into a state close to that of its hero, because we do not know what happened before. A small, smart nugget that still works the second time you watch it.

5 – THE PRESTIGE (2006)

4.3 out of 5 (32,520 ratings) – Christopher Nolan has often compared his work as a director to that of a conjurer, no doubt in reference to films by Georges Méliès at the start of the 20th century. And he literally proves it with The Prestige, a period thriller set in the world of magic and built like a trick, whose three acts are enunciated from the start by the character played by Michael Caine. Centered on the confrontation of two magicians, who constantly seek to gain the upper hand over the other in very different styles, the feature multiplies the twists and turns until the final twist, but it is in its way of combining the substance and form he convinces: while the two protagonists played by Hugh Jackman and  Christian Balerepresent the two facets of his cinema (at the same time spectacular and cerebral), the story evokes, in hollow, the sacrifices which one can agree for an art. A seriousness which makes this opus one of the most personal of its author.

4 – THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012)

4.3 out of 5 (55,072) – Concluding a story is never easy, and this is one reason why the third episode of a trilogy is often considered the weakest. Based on your ratings, this is not the case for Christopher Nolan’s Batman saga, of which The Dark Knight Rises is the world’s biggest hit to date with $ 1.081 billion in revenue. Going after the previous opus was not easy, however, and it is an understatement to say that the expectations around it were high. Too much perhaps, because despite the epic finale, the quality of the staging or the emotion aroused by Michael Caine, some spectators came out disappointed. Inspired in particular by the “Tale of the two cities” by Charles Dickens, which takes place during the French Revolution, the director evokes the class struggle and the uprising of the poor against the rich, just as he puts an end to the adventure initiated in 2005. Even without being exempt from flaws, the set is as solid as Tom Hardy in Bane, and the end of the story, dark and realistic, coincides with the explosion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, lighter and colorful, thanks to the Avengers cardboard the same year .

3 – INCEPTION (2010)

4.4 of 5 (91,722) – Le film qui a tout changé. Après un remake, une adaptation de roman et deux de comic books, Christopher Nolan signe son premier projet original dans le giron de la Warner : un thriller d’espionnage qui se déroule dans un esprit et dans le monde des rêves. Constante de cinéma, le temps devient un outil que les personnages peuvent manipuler tout autant que le réalisateur (avec l’emploi du montage alterné notamment), tandis que ce dernier construit un monde dont il instaure les règles. A l’écran, Leonardo DiCaprio est l’alter ego de son metteur en scène, dans un récit à tiroirs qui cache une histoire de deuil et fascine avant, pendant et après. A la fois l’un des opus les plus aboutis de son auteur en même temps que la pierre angulaire de son cinéma, alors qu’il trouve une autre manière d’agencer ses thèmes fétiches et se fait définitivement un nom. Présenté comme “le réalisateur de The Dark Knight” au moment de la sortie d’Inception, il parvient ici à concilier succès public et critique et devient une franchise à lui tout seul, à l’heure où l’industrie se repose avant tout sur des marques préexistantes, plus faciles à vendre.

2 – INTERSTELLAR (2014)

4,5 sur 5 (57 888) – Le cinéma de Christopher Nolan n’a jamais vraiment rimé avec “émotion”. Malgré Michael Caine dans sa saga Batman, ou le fond plus dramatique que cachent les rebondissements d’Inception ou du Prestige. Avec Interstellar, le réalisateur franchit un cap. Au propre comme au figuré, car il quitte la terre ferme pour une odyssée de l’espace aux contours humains, qui lui permet de marcher sur les traces de Stanley Kubrick, son modèle, et de Steven Spielberg, à qui le projet était initialement destiné. Au-delà des histoires de trous noirs et de planètes sur lesquelles le temps s’écoule différemment, le long métrage se focalise sur le dilemme d’un homme qui doit choisir entre rester auprès des siens sur une Terre mourante, ou les abandonner et manquer une bonne partie de leur vie pour leur offrir un avenir. Un drame de SF qui a bouleversé bon nombre de parents et rappelle que la famille est l’un des thèmes majeurs de son auteur, qui produit avec son épouse Emma Thomas, co-écrit avec son frère, et dirigé son oncle John (Following, Batman Begins) ou l’un de ses enfants (Le Prestige). Et force est de constater que son voyage aux confins de la galaxie vous a transportés puisqu’il manque de peu la première place du classement.

1 – THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)

4,5 sur 5 (87 301) – Et à la fin, c’est donc Batman qui gagne. De peu, car s’il affiche la même moyenne qu’Interstellar, c’est grâce à un plus grand nombre de notes qu’il s’offre la tête. Ce qui n’est pas plus surprenant que cela, dans la mesure où The Dark Knight se présente, aujourd’hui encore, comme l’un des meilleurs blockbusters du XXIe siècle et comme l’un des meilleurs films de super-héros de tous les temps, en plus de bien représenter le cinéma de son auteur, metteur en scène de blockbusters capables de convaincre la critique et le public, en alliant tradition et modernité : il tourne sur pellicule, valorise les effets spéciaux en dur au détriment du numérique, et cherche moins à proposer un produit de consommation qu’une vraie expérience (même lorsqu’il s’empare d’un genre rebattu comme le film de guerre) dans laquelle il brasse ses obsessions.

Influenced by Heat, for his pas de deux between the bad and the good, this opus confirms the hopes placed in Begins and takes off thanks to the insane (and Oscar-winning) performance of the late Heath Ledger in Joker, far removed from Jack’s approach. Nicholson and Tim Burton in 1989. Unpredictable like his choas agent and more anchored in the post-9/11 era than his predecessor, he is one of the peaks of his director’s career. And, therefore, your favorite among the ten feature films he has signed.

Where will “Tenet” be in this ranking?

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