Well all right, all right, all right. Just when uber-director Christopher Nolan seemed like he had nowhere left to go, he just goes up. And in Interstellar, literally. With his Dark Knight trilogy laid to rest, it’s time for him to set his sights on continuing with original work, and Interstellar is no small step. While featuring a few cast members from previous endeavors, he’s now joined forces with Matthew McConaughey to take us to the stars and back.
In a not-so-distant future, Earth has it in for us. Smothering the planet with dust, humankind is nearing the end of its reign. Cooper (McConaughey) is a good-old-boy farmer, living with his father-in-law Donald (John Lithgow) and two kids, Tom (Timothée Chalamet) and Murph (Mackenzie Foy). Tom is destined to follow in his father’s footsteps, but Murph shows signs of rebellion, getting into fights after bringing in old school books contradicting the corrected versions which include details such as the Apollo missions having never happened.
One day, Murph makes a discovery leading her and Cooper on to coordinates in the secret mountainside location of NASA. Everyone thought it shut down to keep running without the public from throwing a fit over wasted tax dollars. Here, Professor Brand (Michael Caine) talks Cooper into leading a mission to find humankind a new home, along with Brand’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), Doyle (Wes Bentley), Romilly (David Gyasi), and a robot named TARS (voiced by Bill Irwin).
As if his films weren’t already full of the “wow factor,” Nolan still shows no signs of slowing down. Interstellar is packed with breathtaking imagery, exhilarating intensity, and heartbreaking storytelling. This is definitely his most intimate film yet. Along with his brother Jonathan, the Brothers Nolan make no bones about their inspiration with plenty of homages to previous space ventures like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Contact, while still keeping the film’s vision unique. From wormholes to a whole new galaxy, there’s plenty of space exploration to keep the most hardened sci-fi buff happy.
The cast brings enough emotional weight to make the plight bigger than simply trying to find a new home for the human race. McConaughey in particular crushes your heart as he watches transmissions from home and sees his family grow up, while nearly no time passes on the mission. Hathaway keeps the thought-provoking monologues from feeling overbearing and never false. Jessica Chastain even gets to shine as the grown up version of Murph trying to solve her own personal riddle back on Earth to figure out a way to get her dad back home.
There’s even a nice twist, but you’d be a bonafide a-hole to give it away. Let’s just say there’s a reason it wasn’t screened for the public. Seriously, this whole review is basically hyperbole because the film speaks for itself, even with the gargantuan 169 minute runtime. Just make sure you check your bladders at the door. Ultimately, you’re not going to want to miss one minute. Interstellar is another notch in Christopher Nolan’s résumé of never-ending cinematic accomplishments and one of the best films of the year.
Photos courtesy Paramount Pictures