Memento is a complex puzzle in which the outcome is known and the enjoyment comes from piecing together the steps leading up to it.
Guy Pearce (Ravenous) unleashes a riveting performance as Leonard Shelby, a man driven by the relentless desire to revenge his wife’s brutal murder while a rare, untreatable form of memory loss hinders his path. Although he can recall details of his life before the “accident,” he can’t remember what happened 15 minutes ago, where he is, where he’s going, or why. Using this motif, writer/director Christopher Nolan develops an elaborate and masterful nonlinear unspooling of clues that challenge the viewers’ expectations. The audience knows only what Leonard can piece together from various photographs, charts, notes, and tattoos, which serve as his memory. Every detail may help discover an answer, but if misinterpreted will only compound the problem. The pleasure of the process is heightened by the intricacy of the characters’ personalities and motives. The justice of Shelby’s actions remains a fascinating question up to the very last frame.
Pearce brings a mannered intensity to Shelby that emanates the frustration of a man who is constantly rediscovering and losing pieces of himself. Equally impressive performances are turned in from Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano as the two constants in Leonard’s life who only add to the confusion with their equivocal actions.
With Memento Nolan has succeeded in created a disturbing and fascinating exploration of identity, memory, actions, and the connections between them when one component is taken away. –Sundance Film Festival
Successful producer, film director and writer Christopher Jonathan James Nolan famous by the name Christopher Nolan was born on the 30th July 1970 in London. Christopher holds dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States of America as his father was from the UK and his mother hailed from the US. He married Emma Thomas in 1997 a film producer and ardent admirer of Nolan’s work. The couple is have four children residing with them in Los Angeles. His brother Jonathan Nolan is a renowned author with whom Christopher often collaborates during the production of his movies.
Nolan spent considerable time between London and Chicago during his childhood. Nolan was educated in an independent school known as Hailey Bury College, in Hertfordshire near Hertford, England. Later Christopher Nolan learned the intricacies of English literature at University College London. An early starter Christopher Nolan started shooting films with a super 8 camera borrowed from his father… read more
After the equally amazing 'Following' Nolan made this fine film that first made his reputation. Expanding his brother's short story and adding in the reverse scene structure (used previouslly in Pinter's 'Betrayal") he was able to create one of the most memorable films of that decade. The idea of memory being such a poor narrator is just the jumping off point for a character manipulated by all including himself. 10.
An exhaustive roundtable discussion of Christopher Nolan and the last entry in his “Dark Knight Trilogy”.
In an interview for DGA Quarterly, the director elaborates on comments appearing in this week’s LA Weekly.
Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. See, too, The Notebook's 2nd Annual Writers Poll: Fantasy Double Features of 2009, parts 1, 2 and 3
Too talky, but interesting. The ending, though a complete deus ex machina—robbing the narrative of all force—feels both tragic and hopeful, which gives itself power: it says that we have to lie to… read review
Christopher Nolan’s Memento is a near-perfect psychological puzzle. This modern film noir is told in backwards and in stops and starts. Scenes appear in reverse chronological order… read review