Christopher Nolan finally explains the Inception ending

By now most of us have probably seen Inception…or at least dreamt we have (Credit: Michael Scott). The ambiguity surrounding the end of the film has led hundreds of to an abundance of theories as to what it all means. The final scene sees a spinning top rotating, wobble slightly before cutting to black.  Well five years on, Christopher Nolan has finally broken his silence… and pretty damn eloquently too!


He was giving a speech to a graduating class at Princeton University and started with some pretty wise words:

“In the great tradition of these speeches, generally someone says something along the lines of ‘Chase your dreams,’ but I don’t want to tell you that because I don’t believe that. I want you to chase your reality.

“I feel that over time, we started to view reality as the poor cousin to our dreams, in a sense….I want to make the case to you that our dreams, our virtual realities, these abstractions that we enjoy and surround ourselves with – they are subsets of reality.”

He then went on to link this idea with the ending of Inception

“The way the end of that film worked, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Cobb — he was off with his kids, he was in his own subjective reality. He didn’t really care anymore, and that makes a statement: perhaps, all levels of reality are valid. The camera moves over the spinning top just before it appears to be wobbling, it was cut to black.

“I skip out of the back of the theater before people catch me, and there’s a very, very strong reaction from the audience: usually a bit of a groan. The point is, objectively, it matters to the audience in absolute terms: even though when I’m watching, it’s fiction, a sort of virtual reality. But the question of whether that’s a  dream or whether it’s real is the question I’ve been asked most about any of the films I’ve made. It matters to people because that’s the point about reality. Reality matters.”

inception spinning top gif





Hopefully that should help you sleep better at night. Sweet dreams!


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