Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, Matt Damon, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 39 mins
Interstellar begins at an undisclosed time in our future here on Earth, but judging by the climate, and the technology on display, I would guess about 10 to 20 years ahead. Or it could be an alternate reality, it’s not really important. At this point in time, our species is one generation away from extinction as climate change causes massive dust storms, blight, and food supplies dwindle. Enter Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), pilot and science geek turned farmer, and his family, but most importantly, his clever daughter and future astrophysicist, Murph (Mackenzie Foy, Jessica Chastain). Cooper leaves his family behind to explore potential new Earths beyond a worm hole parked in orbit around Saturn, and it’s at that point, things start to get a little confusing. But not really.
There’s plenty of ‘technobabble’ in Interstellar, but the Nolan brothers do take the time to explain the more important concepts, as not to completely lose their audience. We’re not all Cosmos TV series alumni after all, and while the science is an important element in this film, it is there only to serve an interesting story about time, space, family and love.
Interstellar however, has one major problem that had me ready to write this off as the most disappointing movie experience of the year. The sound. Specifically, the sound effects editing and Hans Zimmer’s score, and not with the quality, but the volume. At frequent intervals during the movie, the sound overpowered everything else happening in the scene. And at times, it got so bad it was hard to hear important dialog, especially during the more intense action. Christopher Nolan it seems, has given up on subtlety, and there were signs of this approach to film making in Nolan’s last project, The Dark Knight Rises. The movie shouts when it should whisper, and Hans Zimmer’s score is ever-present, even when its contribution to a scene is negligible, and even distracting.
It was so bad I was about to declare Interstellar a disaster, but heading into the story’s last act, it redeemed itself. I won’t spoil it for you, but there’s a moment where this movie’s elements of time, space, and love come together in a beautifully realized three-dimensional visual. It’s as fascinating as it is stunning to see, and perfectly illustrates the concepts being batted around in the story.
This is serious grown-up science fiction, and I’ve heard people compare this to Kubrick’s 2001. For me, that’s not really an accurate comparison, as Interstellar is way more accessible, and takes the time to explain the science in the story. Fans of science fiction and Christopher Nolan should be happy with this film.
This is a BIG screen experience for sure, and an IMAX screening would be your best bet.
Best Moment: << spoiler >>
When Cooper crosses the event horizon (I watched Cosmos), and we get to see a gorgeous visual representation of time and space, and the strong bond Cooper shares with his daughter, Murph.