Just reread what I wrote.. I should have said, I already felt Nolan was a great filmaker, but The Prestige is what made me see he was a truly special filmmaker, and that Memento was no fluke. While I liked Insomnia, it was pretty straightforward, and Batman Begins, which I loved, was even moreso. He certainly made those films great, but it always felt like Memento was a bit of an anomaly in how atypical it was.
I also should have articulated my thoughts on book to film better. the Nolans (I feel I should include Jonah in that as well) didn't just adapt the book.. they crafted a whole new take on the story. They manipulated the characters, their origins, their personalities.. but when you read the book after seeing the movie, you have no doubt it was absolutely necessary for them to do so to make the movie a great film. I did not feel that there were parts to the book that I regretted weren't a part of the movie. It's wonderfully done, it's a different story with the same fundamental background. What's astonishing in some ways is that Christopher Priest was absolutely on board with Nolan's movie. But he apparently got it, and didn't mind the big changes. This is a different take on Priest's world. I think this is the best move based on book I have seen. The Prestige made me go from liking and respecting Nolan as a filmmaker to loving him and I not wanting to wait to see what he would do next.
Also, I love that the Prestige was this 'little movie'. It was shot quickly, little prep time after BB, on a smaller budget, low effects, etc. I hope he continues to make those in between his big productions. He is so adept at both styles. Some directors lose it as they get into big productions.
If he brings one ounce of the same complexity and wonder to Inception (I'm banking that he will) as he had in the Prestige and Memento, it's going to be awesome.