published on Friday, January 8, 2010 4:31 am|
Leonardo DiCaprio films often come in pairs. He made Gangs of New York and Catch Me If You Can in 2002, The Departed and Blood Diamond in 2006 and Body of Lies and Revolutionary Road in 2008. And sure enough, 2010 brings another couple of interesting-looking projects.
Let's start with the second, Christopher Nolan's Inception, which opens in July. DiCaprio's opening narration in the trailer is so stirring it deserves to be quoted in its entirety: "What's the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why " a delicious pause: "I have to steal it."
But it's the Kaufman-esque visuals that really blow the mind. While the words are being spoken, DiCaprio and Canadian co-star Ellen Page are watching what looks like a Paris street rolling itself up like a carpet, even as pedestrians and traffic continue on their unperturbed way. Subsequent shots show a freight train rolling down a Manhattan avenue; a storefront exploding in a shower of shrapnel and cardboard boxes; and someone in an office so open-plan that one wall has just become the floor.
Suspicions of a Matrix-like alternate reality are strengthened when DiCaprio's character later tells Page: "Never recreate from your memory; always imagine new places." Not to mention what sounds like Page screaming: "Wake me up! Wake me up!" And the tagline: "Your mind is the scene of the crime." Nolan bent our collective minds 10 years ago with his amnesia-thriller Memento, and he certainly seems to be trying to top himself with this one.
DiCaprio's other 2010 opening looks almost mundane in comparison, but it boasts a screenplay adapted from a novel by Dennis Lehane ( Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone) as well as director Martin Scorsese ( The Departed). Shutter Island, which opens in February, follows DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo as U.S. marshals investigating the disappearance of an inmate at a hospital for the criminally insane.
The trailer works by the time-honoured method of twisting ordinary people and objects just enough so they appear terrifying. Little old lady tending flowers? Perfectly harmless looking until she turns and delivers a creepy "shhhh!" Ben Kingsley? Not scary at all, until he intones: "We don't know how she got out of her room. It's as if she evaporated straight through the walls." (The bow tie is a nice touch it's well known that most movie characters in bow ties are inherently evil.)
And Max von Sydow well, he is pretty sinister even before he startles DiCaprio's character and asks: "Going somewhere?" Ditto Jackie Earle Haley ( Watchmen, Little Children).
As for the future, movie site imdb.comlists 27 films in development for DiCaprio, including Aquaman, The NeverEnding Story, Untitled Twilight Zone Project, Untitled Mel Gibson Project, Untitled Michael Mann Project, Untitled Timothy Leary Project and Untitled Gucci Biopic. If only half of these movies find titles and only half of those get made, DiCaprio will need the 2010s just to shoot them all.