Is Ellen Page supposed to be an annoying, stupid undergrad that nobody likes but they keep her around because they need her for now? If so, give the woman an Oscar. So her teacher sets her up for a job. The man is weird, suspicious and doesn’t give her any details. He doesn’t even tell her anything about it. “First I need to know you can do it, before I say what it is.” She just smiles and nods! First rule of job interviews: If the boss is crazy, DON’T TAKE THE JOB. I guess ignorance of this could be excused in this case, after all she is in an undergrad. Maybe she thinks Leo is hot and just wants to get in his pants, I dunno. Anyway, it gets worse.
She is told the job is illegal, in no uncertain terms. She doesn’t even flinch! What the hell, some stranger asks her to commit a crime and she just… Accepts? Wow. Maybe the pay is gre- But they don’t even discuss the pay! Sure, unpaid internships are a common way to build up portfolios, but there isn’t a portfolio here, and I doubt she’s expecting to land a nice job working with a sleazebag thief.
Then we get to the dreams. The first thing she does with her power? Act like a toddler at the playground. She folds the street in two and makes two opposing mirrors. Oh wow. When I joked about this sort of stuff in middle school, my friends called me childish.
Speaking of which, I don’t get the bit about Arthur kissing her. If there was some awkward attraction, possibly one sided, from Arthur towards Ariadne, it would be sort of interesting. I could see him having less than gentlemanly intentions with his “try”. But it’s played off as some half-hearted idea that Arthur got, tried, and failed. Oh well. It doesn’t help that this is maybe Arthur’s only idea in the whole film (ok, I guess there’s the elevator). It’s just a pointless scene, the kiss is awful, it doesn’t develop either character, it doesn’t add to the desperation of their situation (they don’t seem to care about the projections much before or after, nor is Arthur at all upset or disappointed when his desperate attempt fails).