I was probably too tired Friday night to give Gus Van Sant's Mala Noche, his first feature-length film, a fair viewing, but the desultory plot and lacklustre acting did not help. I remember vaguely, however, some beautifully shot street scenes. Based on the autobiographical novel by Walt Curtis, the movie tells the story of a young manager of a liquor store who falls in love with a Mexican lad, an illegal immigrant who cannot speak English.
Inception directed by Christopher Nolan was far more gripping. The whole dream-versus-reality setup is familiar, but within the genre's confines Nolan builds like his architect-thieves level after level of action and connection. The final action sequence, when Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) finally wakes up from a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream-within-a dream, is a rush. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays another thief Arthur. Ellen Page was yet another, the aptly named Ariadne. Tom Hardy is heart-stoppingly good-looking as Eames. It does not hurt the film that he is also a good actor. Marion Cotillard plays Mal, Cobb's wife who confuses dream for reality, to deadly effects.