TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)
|Also Known As:||Christopher Jonathan James Nolan||Died:|
|Born:||July 30, 1970||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||London, England, GB||Profession:||screenwriter, director, director of photography, producer, editor|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
ved on to direct one of the most talked about movies in years, "Inception" (2010), a richly textured and visually stunning heist thriller set in the world of lucid dreaming. Nolan conceived of the idea a decade before making the film, but needed time to build more clout before tackling such an ambitious project. The movie centered on Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a professional thief who can plunge into the minds of unwitting targets in order to carry out various missions of sabotage and espionage. Haunted by the death of his wife (Marion Cotillard), Cobb assembles a crack team that includes a fresh-faced dream architect (Ellen Page) to implant a fake idea into the mind of the heir (Cillian Murphy) to a corporate empire at the behest of a Japanese rival (Ken Watanabe). Far and away the most original film to emerge from a major Hollywood studio in years, "Inception" was widely hailed for its visionary style and innovative storytelling, which included a multi-layered dream sequence wrapped inside a daring heist. All told, "Inception" was a box office phenomenon, earning close to $900 million worldwide. It also landed on many year-end Top Ten lists while amassing numerous award nominations,...
ved on to direct one of the most talked about movies in years, "Inception" (2010), a richly textured and visually stunning heist thriller set in the world of lucid dreaming. Nolan conceived of the idea a decade before making the film, but needed time to build more clout before tackling such an ambitious project. The movie centered on Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a professional thief who can plunge into the minds of unwitting targets in order to carry out various missions of sabotage and espionage. Haunted by the death of his wife (Marion Cotillard), Cobb assembles a crack team that includes a fresh-faced dream architect (Ellen Page) to implant a fake idea into the mind of the heir (Cillian Murphy) to a corporate empire at the behest of a Japanese rival (Ken Watanabe). Far and away the most original film to emerge from a major Hollywood studio in years, "Inception" was widely hailed for its visionary style and innovative storytelling, which included a multi-layered dream sequence wrapped inside a daring heist. All told, "Inception" was a box office phenomenon, earning close to $900 million worldwide. It also landed on many year-end Top Ten lists while amassing numerous award nominations, including Golden Globe nods for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Screenplay and Best Director for Nolan. Although he was shut out of the Best Director category, Nolan earned an Academy Award nod for Best Original Screenplay and as the film's co-producer, shared in a Best Picture nomination as well.
To follow up, of course, Nolan wrote and directed the third and final installment in his Batman trilogy, "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012), which once again featured Bale as the Caped Crusader. This time, Batman does battle with Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and the lesser-known Bane (Tom Hardy), a Mad Max-like terrorist leader intent on destroying Gotham City. Anticipated to be an even bigger box office smash than the previous two films, "The Dark Knight Rises" ran into a bit of trouble prior to release when fans reacted in ugly fashion to negative reviews on the website Rotten Tomatoes â¿¿ which was owned by Warner Bros. subsidiary Flixter â¿¿ prompting the site to suspend user comments after threats of violence and web attacks against critics. Meanwhile, the film opened at midnight on Thursday across the country and wracked up over $30 million from those showings alone. But any good feelings toward the film and its potential for record-breaking box office were shattered in Aurora, CO, where a lone gunman wearing a gas mask and body armor entered a showing at a Century 16 theater, where he set off two canisters of tear gas and opened fire with multiple firearms, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. As major news stations across the world ran 24-hour coverage on the horrific event, Warner Bros. quickly reacted with a statement expressing collective sadness over what has been deemed one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. The studio immediately canceled gala premieres in France, Mexico and Japan, the stars of the film bowed out of press functions, advertisements were pulled, and box office earnings were not released. For his part, Nolan released a statement on behalf of the cast and crew calling the shootings "savage," while expressing his sorrow at the violation of the innocent act of going to the movies.
Nolan briefly remained in the comic book world, working with David S. Goyer on the story of the Superman reboot "Man of Steel" (2013), before starting his next major project. Written again with his brother Jonathan, "Interstellar" (2014) proved to be his most visually stunning feature thus far, featuring breathtaking outer space scenes surrounding the philosophical, human-scale story of a team of astronauts searching for another habitable planet as Earth's atmosphere collapses. The film, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain, was a major critical and commercial success upon its fall 2014 release."Insomnia" (2002), a slick neo-noir thriller about a legendary Los Angeles detective (Al Pacino) who goes to a small Alaskan town to investigate the disturbing murder of a 17-year-old girl, while at the same time, suffering sleep deprivation caused by a relentless Midnight Sun. While he gets help from a bright, but green local officer (Hilary Swank), the detective finds himself struggling against a wily adversary (Robin Williams) and his own deteriorating stability. Though not nearly as hailed as "Momento," Nolan's third film earned substantial praise and a decent box office take.
Though content with his body of work, Nolan wanted a shot at directing a big Hollywood blockbuster. He got his wish after making a passionate pitch to Warner Bros. on reviving their floundered "Batman" franchise, which suffered humiliation after two flamboyantly over-the-top installments directed Joel Schumacher. Joining screenwriter and comic book author David S. Goyer, Nolan took the film series 180 degrees from Schumacher's gaudy direction, envisioning "Batman Begins" (2005) as a pitch-black psychological exploration into the origins of the avenging knight. Taking inspiration from the post-"Dark Knight Returns" era of comics, Nolan's film traced the journey of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) from orphaned millionaire to intensely skilled crime fighter. Taking great pains to craft both a Gotham City and an outer world that was as realistic as its pulpy source material would allow, Nolan eschewed campy theatrics and computer-generated effects in favor of nuanced acting and old-fashioned stunt work. Meanwhile, Nolan attracted an all-star cast, including Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson. Though the film lacked some of the darkly manic pop inspiration that characterized the Tim Burton films, "Batman Begins" was a breath of fresh air for loyal fans and moviegoers, while the film proved to be both a critical and commercial success.
For his next feature, "The Prestige" (2006), Nolan returned to his indie roots with this supernatural thriller about two Victorian-era magicians (Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) engaged in a powerful rivalry involving a dangerously escalating tit-for-tat competition in order to uncover one another's trade secrets. Despite a cold, measured approach, Nolan nonetheless dazzled audiences with an engaging, even thrilling display of visual trickery, time-jumping edits and elaborate showmanship. Perhaps not as dynamic as "Batman Returns" or as revered as "Memento," "The Prestige" helped cement Nolan as a bona fide talent. Meanwhile, he directed the second installment of the revived "Batman" series, "The Dark Knight" (2008), which starred a returning Bale and Heath Ledger as the iconic Gotham villain, The Joker. The hype and anticipation for the film, and particularly for Ledger's performance, was at an all-time high when tragedy struck. On Jan. 22, 2008, Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan apartment of what would later be deemed an accidental prescription drug overdose. Originally, Warner Bros. marketed the film with a haunting poster of Ledger as The Joker scrawling "Why So Serious?" in blood, but his death forced the studio to stop using the ads and figure out how to market a film in the wake of the shocking death of one of its lead stars. Meanwhile, Nolan â¿¿ along with many others in the business â¿¿ offered his heartfelt condolences to Ledger's family and friends, and promised the film would be a final, fitting tribute to Ledger. While Ledger was honored with a posthumous Oscar for his compelling performance, Nolan was largely shut out of the awards race due in part to "The Dark Knight" being a tent pole studio film based on a comic book. For the following yearâ¿¿s Academy Awards ceremony, a grand total of 10 Best Picture nominations were presented as a way of opening up the competition to films like "The Dark Knight," though the gesture came too late for Nolanâ¿¿s efforts.
Filmographyclose complete filmography
Milestones close milestones
"I'm interested in films that you want to come back to multiple times." --Christopher Nolan quoted in Daily Variety, January 17, 2001.
In response to a query about the problems of adapting a short story as a film, Nolan told Will McKenzie of www.6degrees.co.uk (October 2000): "Well I think the problems in the case of a highly conceptual piece of material is to come up with a story that can hold the attention for a couple of hours without losing the simplicity. It is a very simple concept and it's very challenging to create a two-hour story where everything keeps on coming back to that concept. Very often the temptation as a filmmaker is to take the concept of the story and go somewhere different. I tried to take the story that was an organic expansion of the concept. That was the biggest challenge."
"I get annoyed when I see films and I end up questioning where the camera has been placed. When I shoot a film, I want to know in every shot whose point of view we're seeing." --Christopher Nolan, quoted in the Daily Varsity (www.varsity.cam.ca.uk), October 19, 2000.
Companions close complete companion listing
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute