Christopher Nolan turns 49 today. At a relatively young age, the Dark Knight director has built an impressive body of work. Today, he is one of the few filmmakers in the world who can ask a studio 225 million dollars for an original film (his upcoming Tenet).
Nolan started his career with Following in 1998, made on a paltry 6000 dollar budget. He gained fame in the indie circuit with mind-bending Memento in 2000. But it was Batman Begins in 2005 and its followup The Dark Knight in 2008 that made Nolan a worldwide name.
Christopher Nolan makes highly conceptual films, uses as much practical effects as possible and his stories are heavy with thematic content. He also likes playing with viewers’ minds, and each film of his can be called a psychological thriller.
It is said that the best kind of praise is what one gets from his or her peers. Here is what top Hollywood filmmakers have to say about Nolan.
James Cameron told The Hollywood Reporter, “I loved Inception, and I wish that it had gotten more. I wish Chris Nolan had gotten nominated for directing that film because I think that it’s the most astounding piece of film creation and direction of the year, hands down … but now it’s not even in the running. So I diverge from the Academy’s taste in a lot of ways.”
Steven Spielberg, in an interview with the Arizona Republic, said, “I don’t make unconventional stories, I don’t make non-linear stories. I like linear storytelling a lot. Chris Nolan is brilliant at non-linear storytelling, between his two great masterworks (“Memento” and “Inception”), really. That was non-linear storytelling. I appreciate non-linear storytelling and I go to a lot of movies that have that, but I don’t do it. I haven’t done that myself. And so I’m much more traditional in how a story should lay out, although there’s no law or rule about telling a story.”
Steven Soderbergh told Deadline, “When Chris Nolan became interested in Insomnia and word got back to me from Dan Aloni that he couldn’t get a meeting at Warner Bros, and that they wouldn’t meet with him to talk about it, I said that’s ridiculous. I called the person who wouldn’t meet with him and said you need to sit down with this guy. Whether it’s this project or something else, you need to meet this guy. You need to talk to him. Turns out he has the meeting, and it was a total love fest. He goes and makes Insomnia and begins his relationship with Warner Bros. So the only thing I did was get him in the room.”
The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola told Vulture in 2011, “There are a lot of very talented guys here. David O. Russell has made four remarkable films in a row. Christopher Nolan, with films like Memento, is dazzling in the things he is willing to do.”
Danny Boyle said this while speaking to Deadline in 2010, “I learned that I am at my best when my project is under $20 million and I am trying to make it look like $100 million. Chris Nolan can take $160 million and make it feel like $320 million and I love and admire him for it, but I am not that guy.”
Guillermo del Toro, while speaking to Deadline, said in 2010, “I love that Chris Nolan did Inception. He did it because he can, but I assure you, this was not easy to push through. Whether bold movies succeed or fail, they don’t go unnoticed. Movies that are timid definitely are not succeeding in this time.”
Brad Bird on Twitter (when asked what the most original and boldest blockbuster he has seen in recent years), “Probably Chris Nolan’s DUNKIRK, an original script that was not only big, but had an ambitious structure (1 hr, 1 day, 1 wk intercut). Like his other originals, DUNKIRK was a box office success, keeping hope alive for more big original films.”