Inception won the 2011 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, and also SFWA’s Ray Bradbury Award for that year. Hugo voters gave it a thumping win at both stages of the ballot.
IMDB users rank it the top film of the year on both scales. It beat How To Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3 and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World for both Hugo and Bradbury; the other Hugo finalist was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, and the other Bradbury finalist was my favourite Doctor Who episode of that year, Vincent and the Doctor. I voted for it myself for the Hugo.
A few Oscar and Doctor Who crossovers here. At the top is Leonardo di Caprio, here the protagonist Cobb, previously Billy in The Departed and before that Jack in Titanic.
Tom Berenger, Browning here, was a sergeant in Platoon (my least favourite Oscar winner).
And Earl Cameron, credited here as “elderly bald man” though he clearly is not bald, was the astronaut Glyn Williams in The Tenth Planet, William Hartnell’s last story as the lead actor of Doctor Who in 1966, 54 years before Inception.
Slightly to my surprise, neither Michael Caine nor Pete Postlethwaite (who died soon after the film was released) had previously been in Oscar-winning or Hugo/Nebula/Bradbury winning films.
Back in 2011, I wrote:
In forty years’ time, when my grandchildren (or yours) ask me how I voted in this year’s Hugos, I think this is the only defensible choice. Admittedly I found it rather hard to follow, due to being in pain and on various drugs while watching it in several installments, but that was true when I watched all the others as well, so in fact not a great excuse. It looks and sounds utterly fantastic, and is clearly paying homage to Philip K. Dick while bringing in various other sexual and social paranoias, in the ultimate example of someone’s personal relationships interfering with their career. I wasn’t totally sure about [Elliot] Page, but maybe my appreciation would have been greater under normal circumstances. In any case, no work of art is perfect, and I can happily give this my top vote.
Again, unfortunately, I watched the film while suffering from a mild tummy upset so again my concentration was not all that it should have been. But I felt that a lot of balls were juggled with consummate skill here – the layers of dreams, the gradual realisation of what is really true and what isn’t, the capitalist struggle for resources taken into the realm of the subconscious. I also liked Elliot Page’s performance more this time around. I’m putting it in 12th place in my rankings, just below Contact and ahead of Superman.
That year’s Oscar winner was The King’s Speech, which I will turn to next.
I’ve always wondered how Inception would go over with someone more versed in sci fi tropes – I am pleased it’s enjoyable for all.