As I should have expected, a lot of readers are responding to the Inception discussion in today’s Jolt.
SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT (Skip to the next item if you don’t want surprise twists revealed!)
The main argument to my theory that what we see as reality is actually reality is the main character’s children. We see the two young children from behind in a flashback that occurs some time ago (long enough for them to miss their father a great deal, not long enough for them to forget him); at the end, he sees them in the same pose and, some readers argue, the same clothes. Thus, he’s in a dream, where he is reunited with his children and in fact hasn’t missed a moment of their lives.
Yet according to IMDB, different actors were cast to represent the children in the two scenes, suggesting that about two years have passed:
Claire Geare . . . Phillipa (3 years)
Magnus Nolan . . . James (20 months)
Taylor Geare . . . Phillipa (5 years)
Johnathan Geare . . . James (3 years)
I concur that the children look similar, and there is a dreamlike quality to the way that they’re playing in the backyard in the precise spot he last saw them. But by casting different children (including a bit of nepotism!), it seems clear that writer/director Nolan intended to show that time has passed since that flashback.