Quite simply, this is the book for which director Christopher Nolan’s many admirers have long been waiting. While his enigmatic and labyrinthine filmmaking style has drawn praise from viewers and critics alike, he has kept a similarly mysterious air about himself and his work. Yet film critic Shone sat with Nolan for numerous conversations over three years, producing what is almost a coauthored exploration of Nolan’s creative process, his extensive influences, and his films ... Shone seamlessly weaves these conversations within a narrative that stretches from Nolan’s formative boarding school days in England to the evolution of his career and his work with key contributors such as composer Hans Zimmer, his screenwriter brother Jonathan, and his wife Emma Thomas, who has served as a producer on all his films. Only a handful of contemporary writer-directors truly merit this kind of mid-career assessment, and Shone has crafted a thoroughly entertaining and fascinating portrait ... For the foreseeable future, this is the definitive word on Nolan and a must for film buffs.
... insightful ... Shone explores the director’s fascination with time, chronology, and structure (both real and metaphorical); he provides a sharp analysis of each of Nolan’s films; and he examines the way the director’s shooting style gives him a unique vision. This is an erudite book, written primarily for serious film fans, but Shone’s prose is easygoing and mostly nontechnical, and the text has plenty to say to readers of all levels of interest. A first-class book about an intriguing filmmaker.
Shone posits that 'Nolan can with some legitimacy lay claim to being the greatest living filmmaker of the Victorian era.' It’s a fascinating proposition, but one with troubling consequences that The Nolan Variations only ever teases, never braving a thorough analysis. In evading the consequences of the Victorian aspects of Nolan’s films, Shone may simply be following his subject’s lead ... paints an admiring portrait of a life firmly ensconced in the transatlantic establishment.