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Director Christopher Nolan has fashioned a career as neatly parceled into halves as that of Bruce Wayne/Batman: On the one side are his ontological thrillers, crafty mind games such as “Following,” “Memento” and “The Prestige,” with their shifting levels of reality and unreliable narrators. On the other are his big-budget comic book films, “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight.” His latest, “Inception,” sees the director attempting to split the difference.

Can you have your cake and eat it too? I can imagine a Nolan film on this topic, titled perhaps “Confection.” The protagonist would indeed eat his cake, only to return home in the evening and find it there again on his table. Perhaps he only imagined eating the cake. Perhaps the cake does not exist. Or maybe someone was fiendishly replacing each piece of cake with an identical one.

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