British-American screenwriter, film director, and producer Christopher Nolan has given us several memorable movies. His screenwriting is often nonlinear, cerebral, and captivating. Credited as a writer for 14 films, he has received high praise from audiences and much critical acclaim.
Breakthrough Screenplay: Memento
Although Nolan had written other screenplays before, this was what brought him into the limelight. It was a great leap (his words) from his previous movie, produced, directed, and written independently and with a minimal budget.
A man with retrograde amnesia (Guy Pierce) loses his memory every 15 minutes. On a quest to avenge his wife’s murder, he uses polaroids to piece together what happened and try to recall who attacked him.
The movie was immediately successful as it was clever, funny, and thrilling all at once. The screenplay was nominated for the Academy Awards and a Golden Globe, and several other prestigious film awards. Memento carved out a spot for Christopher Nolan in Hollywood, and he hasn’t left it since.
Starting A Trend: Batman Begins
Soon after Memento, Nolan worked as a director for several movies before presenting his ideas for an entirely new Batman movie at Warner Bros. He wrote the script for the movie Batman Begins to give the character a new identity, deviating from the comic book themes. This sparked a trend of reboots and retelling of old comic book-based movies. The movie also awarded Nolan with widespread recognition as an excellent screenwriter and director. Other films in the series (The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises) were also highly acclaimed.
Reviews of The Dark Knight Trilogy
Nolan was able to bring a psychological twist to Batman as no other screenwriter has done with superhero movies. Fans of Batman comics had already seen the worst superhero movie ever (Batman & Robin, 1997), and The Dark Knight Trilogy was the direct opposite. With stellar performances from Christian Bale and Heath Ledger and an original screenplay, it was the recipe for success.
Collaborative Effort: The Prestige
In between Batman movies, Christopher Nolan collaborated with his brother Jonathan to write the screenplay for The Prestige. Starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, it tells the story of two rival magicians obsessed and competing to create the best illusion. It received positive reviews, with critics describing it as brilliant and praising its plot twists.
Becoming An Auteur: Inception, Interstellar, and Tenet
As Christopher Nolan’s career advanced, he was slowly building a repertoire of being the creative soul behind his movies. His work on Inception proved that movies with cerebral storylines could be exciting despite their need for concentration.
Nolan later went on to write other successful movies such as Interstellar (starring Matthew McConaughey) and the latest release, Tenet. Both movies are in the sci-fi genre and have received critical acclaim. Audiences and film critics alike gave him positive reviews for his works. Interstellar was even praised by academics for its scientific accuracy.
A fantastic storyteller, Christopher Nolan’s screenplays cemented him in Hollywood as the ultimate auteur. It’s safe to say that audiences and critics are eagerly waiting for his next projects.