Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. DiCaprio plays a professional thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets. He is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for a task considered to be impossible: “inception”, the implantation of another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious.
Shortly after finishing Insomnia (2002), Nolan wrote an 80-page treatment about “dream stealers”, envisioning a horror film inspired by lucid dreaming, and presented the idea to Warner Bros. Feeling he needed to have more experience with large-scale film production, Nolan retired the project and instead worked on Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), and The Dark Knight (2008). He spent six months revising the script before Warner Bros. purchased it in February 2009. Inception was filmed in six countries on four continents, beginning in Tokyo on June 19, 2009, and finishing in Canada on November 22, 2009. Its official budget was US$160 million, a cost that was split between Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures. Nolan’s reputation and success with The Dark Knight helped secure the film’s $100 million in advertising expenditure.
Inception‘s première was held in London on July 8, 2010; its wide release to both conventional and IMAX theaters began on July 16, 2010. A box office success, Inception has grossed over $800 million worldwide becoming the 45th-highest-grossing film of all time. The home video market also had strong results, with $68 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales. Inception opened to acclaim from critics, who praised its story, score, and ensemble cast. It won four Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects, and was nominated for four more: Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Art Direction, and Best Original Screenplay.