Christopher Nolan is one of those rare filmmakers who make experimental, intellectual, yet deeply heartfelt, original films that are commercially successful. He achieved prominence with his low-budget, neo-noir crime thriller, Following (1998) and has never had to look back ever since. One key aspect of Nolan’s films is how he treats time. Speaking of which, Nolan turns 51 today. Without further adieu, we take a look at five of his timeless masterpieces.
1. Memento (2000)
Memento helped establish Nolan as one of the most original filmmakers in Hollywood. The film received critical acclaim upon release, with viewers praising the filmmaker’s handling of the non-linear narrative structure, the examination of memory and its relationship with emotions. Guy Pearce stars as Leonard Shelby, a guy suffering from anterograde amnesia and searching for his wife’s killer.
2. The Prestige (2006)
It is a psychological thriller with a science-fiction twist. The story is about the deadly rivalry between two magicians from vastly different social backgrounds, played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. Their constant one-upmanship costs them the lives of their beloveds and close friends.
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
The sequel to Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005) and the second part of the Dark Knight trilogy, is considered as one of the best comic book films ever made. Batman’s (Christian Bale) arch-nemesis, the Joker, played to perfection by the late Heath Ledger, attempts to destroys Bruce Wayne’s life and work through well-orchestrated crimes and psychological manipulation. Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his performance.
4. Inception (2010)
Christopher Nolan gives a wholly novel twist to the heist movie genre in this sci-fi thriller. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), has to extract information from a corporate target named Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) by psychologically manipulating him through dreams within dreams. The film won 4 Oscars.
5. Interstellar (2014)
This sci-fi space epic is about a farmer named Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) who leads a team beyond our galaxy to look for new habitable planets as the Earth is dying. Physicist Kip Thorne helped visualise the wormholes and black holes in the film.