I’ve always liked space movies. Maybe because my Dad was (is) a Trekkie, so I grew up watching those movies. But bad Star Wars dialogue aside, space movies are some of my favorites, including Contact, Prometheus, and the new Star Treks. So Interstellar really excited me because it’s space AND it’s Christopher Nolan AND it’s Matthew McConaughey, who was already in one of my favorite space movies (the aforementioned Contact).
I’m very glad this movie didn’t disappoint me.
Obviously, I can’t say too much, because, you know, Spoilers (you can find those other places on the web). But, suffice to say: McConaughey’s character, Cooper, is a former NASA pilot-turned-farmer, because the world’s crops are dying due to some unexplained blight, and corn is the only thing that will grow. Humanity’s time on Earth is probably running out. Unwittingly, Cooper and his daughter, Murphy (Mackenzie Foy, best known as Reneesmee Cullen from Twilight: Breaking Dawn) stumble on NASA’s underground headquarters, where he finds an old professor of his, Dr. Brand, (Michael Caine), the professor’s daughter, Amelia (Anne Hathaway), and other scientists, who have a mission to find new worlds for humanity to inhabit. Dr. Brand wants Cooper to pilot the spacecraft and lead the crew into an exploration of possibly inhabitable planets–and find them before humanity dies out on Earth.
Cooper leaves Murphy and his son, Tom, in the care of his father-in-law (John Lithgow–Cooper’s wife died before the movie began). Murphy, who is especially close to her father, pleads with him to stay, and doesn’t forgive her father for leaving her.
So, into the Galaxy Cooper, Brand, and crew (including two robots) go. There’s a wormhole near Saturn that will allow them to travel to new galaxies and investigate these new worlds.
So that’s the basic plot. This being a Nolan movie, there’s a lot more to it. But this is what you need to know.
I loved it. I thought the acting was superb–I really hope Matthew McConaughey gets another Oscar nomination for it–and I found the plot perfectly feasible. I don’t have an extremely high working knowledge of physics; it’s slightly above Penny’s in Big Bang Theory.
That being said, I’ve seen and read enough space material to understand the basic concepts of wormholes, black holes, “event horizons”, and things like that. I don’t really care if there were science mistakes. It’s called science fiction for a reason, y’all.
I read a piece that compared Interstellar to Gravity, and that Gravity was the better film. I completely disagree. I’ve seen Gravity, and it didn’t touch me nearly as much as Interstellar did, nor do I remember anything terribly specific about it.
A problem with Nolan films is pacing; they have a tendency to drag. There are parts in Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises where I’ve sat in the theater wondering what, precisely, this scene/character/plot line had to do with the overall scope of the film. I never felt that with Interstellar, and the movie is almost three hours long. In fact, when the movie ended, I wanted more. I would have gladly sat through another hour to see how things continued. For me, that seals Interstellar as my favorite Nolan film.
Is some of the dialogue hokey? OK, maybe. I didn’t think it was too bad. The movie discusses big, lofty concepts, and sometimes when we talk about those things, we sound hokey. That’s OK with me.
I’m hoping it gets the attention it deserves come Oscar time. It’s looking like a banner awards season, with this, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, and other films that have either been released, or will be shortly. This film deserves nods not just for its score and cinematography (which are truly, truly breathtaking–this is truly a movie to see on the big screen, if there ever was one), but for its writing, acting, and directing as well.