What fascinated me most were the assertions in the sub themes:
- Holding onto guilt limits our creativity.
- Our subconscious is well-defended from alien points of view.
- An idea (especially a wrong one) that takes hold will gather evidence to itself and will expand to control a person's experience of (or relationship to) reality.
- We seek to alter our memories to relieve guilt.
- Memories can't be the basis of dreams (in the film, a literal idea; in life, a principle—don't be limited by the past when imagining the future).
- We don't need more time if we've shared a lifetime. What we share can be enough.
- What we believe about our relationships impacts our choices and can endanger others.
- Knowing love from a parent makes a world of difference.
- Manipulation of our beliefs (even if we are led to believe what isn't empirically true) can enhance or diminish our experience of life (even to the point of happiness or suicide).
- When you feel like peeing while you sleep, it rains really hard in your dreams.
I loved the cinematography. The opening ocean spray (wow!), the table top reflection in the scene with Saito (gold, black, faces with black hair, perfectly balanced in that zen way), the mirrors in Paris, the folding over of streets, the floating bodies ... so many moments.
Acting terrific. Leo DiCaprio has matured and is a favorite A lister now. Ellen Page was feminine! I loved that they didn't make her Adriadne character some boyish computer nerd. Great to see a soft side, a relationally aware side combined with being smart. Good role model (though still far too few females in these leading roles for my tastes).
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is almost too adorably handsome for his role in this film. He does a great job, but I still see him with that smarmy smile, arms swinging to a happy tune after his shower sex with Zoe Daschenel from "500 Days of Summer." Jacob (18 yr old son) loves his wardrobe in every movie. Who doesn't?
So what did you think of the film? Lived up to its hype? (Spoilers may be in comments - permitted but be forewarned.)