Reviews

'Interstellar' Review: Ambitious Is an Understatement for Christopher Nolan

‘Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.’

With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history; making use of a newly discovered wormhole and traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars.

With Interstellar more than likely being remembered, famous, and somewhat iconic for its imagery and incredible ideas, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it would’t have all come together if it weren’t for Matthew McConaughey (minus the whole Christopher Nolan part)

Matthew McConaughey & Mackenzie Foy in 'Interstellar'
This film continues the complete resurgence the Academy Award winning actor is on, with names like True Detective and Dallas Buyers Club being his previous two credits. He is without a doubt nothing short of amazing in Nolan’s big project. But unlike those previous projects, he is playing a very relatable and everyday man, especially being a father, and Mcconaughey flawlessly portrays exactly that. One aspect that shined so bright was the love for his family, specifically the love for his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy, Jessica Chasten, and Ellen Burstyn). We are able to see, with ease, the complete love he has for her and his family, and that potential loss that constantly creeps up with every action made for the rest of the movie. There truly isn’t any moment throughout the movie that we don’t think he’s thinking of them, specifically that shell shocking scene set on the water world where time passes by faster. McConaughey’s incredible emotional ability throughout the entire movie can be felt by every audience member, and easily being worthy of being called one of this year’s best performances.

Although Interstellar does have its tearful moments, it’s far from that. If it’s indeed remembered as one of this era’s most iconic films, like I said above, it would be because of its imagery and incredible ideas. Nolan is definitely one of today’s cinema showman, with Interstellar allowing him to use his preferred IMAX format, with every shot being freaking brilliant. Over half of the film (mainly everything in space) is shot this way and seeing this in 70MM on an IMAX screen is a  serious must, there is no other way.

What Hoyte van Hoytema did as cinematographer makes fascinating look like an understatement. I’ve had some time to think it over, and I think Interstellar may be the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen. From its colors, to the very few perfected angles, to the way the camera moves – I don’t remember the last time I’ve been all in on the details like I was while watching this. I was tranced for the entire two hours and forty plus minutes – simply put, it was beautiful. There’s no doubt in my mind that van Hoytema should be taking home a nice gold, shiny object in the foreseeable future.

Image of 'Interstellar'

 

The same could go for Hanz Zimmer and his score. The argument has been going on whether there are ‘sound problems’ throughout the film, I could give a flying f***. Just like the look, the sound truly put me in a trance. Yeah, the way movies look and feel definitely get you into it. But there’s no doubt the music, at least for me, keeps me invested. And I was completely invested for almost there hours, I have Zimmer (and Nolan) to thank for that.

This is very much McConaughey’s movie, no doubt. But his co-stars had a damn good hand in his and the movies success. Anne Hathaway, who plays a role that’s somewhat cold and who kind of has an ulterior motive for much of the movie, has a very strong presence. She may not have the stakes that McConaughey’s character Cooper has (until later that is), she is needed just as much while still being incredibly stubborn and hard to break on what she wants and feels is right, just like Coop. And that’s because of Hathaway, she always brings something to each of her roles and this ones no different. Jessica Chastain as the role of older (33 year old) Murph who resents, to an extent almost hating her absent father is one of my favorite parts. It may not have been big, but it was incredibly important. And I don’t know about you guys, but there is just something about Chastain that I love, where I just gravitate towards her when she’s on screen. Mackenzie Foy who is younger (10 year old) Murph is a smaller role, but really, really good. All I can say is this girl will be a star, she’s going to have one hell of a prowess on screen for many years to come. Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow, and David Gyasi are all also great in their respective roles.

Jessica Chastain & Casey Affleck in 'Interstellar'

One part of the film that couldn’t be forgotten, even if I tried extremely hard, is the comic relief of TARS (voiced by Bill Irwin). The ex-soldier who was decommissioned because of the whole ‘no more armies’ thing gives the perfect kind of ‘breaks’ this film much needed – but in a good way. From the moment the movie hit space, it was jaw-drop moment after jaw-drop moment, so it was just…really nice having a moment to stop, laugh, and catch my breathe. ‘You want to make it 60?’

As with every film, there are always at least one negative thing. But I’ve got to be honest, some of these are both positives and negatives, and some are me just nitpicking. I don’t want to give anything away for someone who hasn’t seen it, so I’m going to hold back the nitpicking. As for the positives and negatives, it’s all about the ideas and theories this thing threw at us! After the first hour, it literally felt like sitting in a lecture where Neil Degrasse Tyson is speaking. Every fifteen minutes or so would see an idea or theory thrown at you that would make you think, and think hard about it. That’s where viewers started to lose track and not really understand what was going on, but for me, I accept it and give so much freaking props for it. I am a viewer who loves, LOVES to be left thinking about it. I give incredible props to the Nolan brothers for what they did because even though some things didn’t work out, their ambition is recognized by almost everyone. And I can’t be negative about something like that, they took chances and raised the bar for future movies like Interstellar. 

Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway & David Gyasi in 'Interstellar'

With all that being said, Interstellar adds up to be something that we haven’t seen in a very, very long time. It’s easily to much to take in with one-viewing, and although some elements can’t be understood or work, you’ve got to admire the complete ambition and risk that Interstellar gives. From a guy who has made a movie that runs backwards (Memento) and one that’s set in a dream, within a dream, within a dream – I didn’t think the ambition or risk could get any higher, I’m happy as hell that I was wrong. Although it does have its flaws, those flaws almost make it that much better. Because what makes a classic isn’t the fact that there’s no plot holes or it’s atop the critically acclaimed list, but the fact that it’s talked about over and over again for years – both positively and negatively. Interstellar could very well become that classic twenty plus years from now.

Plus, the scene with Cooper and Brand connecting back to Endurance – holy freaking crap, one of the best action sequences I’ve seen in a long time. Mind-blowing good (listen to the music)!

Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

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