Christopher Nolan on the ending of Inception

Christopher Nolan says the ending of Inception has an intellectual ambiguity to it that still leaves it open for discussion.

In thinking of the most debated movie endings ever, there are certain films that always come up that leave viewers arguing their interpretations: The Shining (why is Jack Torrance in the photo?), titanic (could Jack have fit on the door with Rose?), Mulholland Drive (uhhhh…). But one of the most debated movie endings of the last 15 years is Christopher Nolan’s Inception, which left viewers wondering if Leonardo DiCaprio’s Cobb was living reality or within another dream. Now, the director is chiming in – not to spell it out but to add a little more depth to it.

Speaking with Wired, Christopher Nolan said the Inception ending has more depth than even just determining if Cobb is in a dream or not. “I mean, the end of Inception…There is a nihilistic view of that ending, right? But also, he’s moved on and is with his kids. The ambiguity is not an emotional ambiguity. It’s an intellectual one for the audience.” OK, so this is far from a definitive explanation, but isn’t that perfect? Do we really need Nolan to (mis?)lead us one way or the other? He added that there is a sort of link between Inception and his upcoming Oppenheimer. “It’s funny, I think there is an interesting relationship between the endings of Inception and Oppenheimer to be explored. Oppenheimer‘s got a complicated ending. Complicated feelings.” You’ll be able to see exactly what Christopher Nolan means – or will you? – when Oppenheimer drops in theaters on July 21st.

Nolan has weighed in on the ambiguity of the Inception ending – and the film as a whole – before, saying soon after its release, “One of the things you do as a writer and as a filmmaker is grasp for resonant symbols and imagery without necessarily fully understanding it yourself. And so there are interpretations to be imposed on the film that aren’t necessarily what I had in my head.” For what it’s worth, Michael Caine revealed that Nolan told him that any scene he’s in is real, meaning the final scene is in fact reality. Besides, we all know that Cobb’s totem is actually his wedding ring, right…?

What is your interpretation of Inception‘s ending? Does it have even more weight to it than the reality/dream debate? Give us your thoughts below!