Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan and Christopher Nolan
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Topher Grace, Matt Damon, Ellen Burstyn, Casey Affleck, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Irwin, Wes Bentley
“Interstellar” is a movie I’ve struggled to identify for the last few days. While I had hopped on the anti Nolan bandwagon following the disappointing The Dark Knight Returns, my first thoughts of this movie put me off the bandwagon. For a project that very clearly started off as a Spielberg earmark, I was impressed that Nolan had finally discovered real emotion. Couple that with fantastic creations and science fiction actually being given a chance to grow in a realm that wasn’t driven by the forces of grimdark. Then, there was the juggling of multiple timelines that put “Cloud Atlas” to shame.
Space exploration invites the desire to force reality into fantasy. What we get is an excellent first act where we see a dystopian future disguised as Dust Bowl Americana. Textbooks are banned in schools, as the world governments push to keep all global citizens grounded on Earth. Pilots are a rare commodity, as everyone is pushed to growing food for the populace. The soil’s shot and the crops are dying, but the government is going to keep forcing work regardless of the end result. The last remnants of NASA reach out to our hero Cooper quicker than he can say a tired catchphrase from “Dazed and Confused”. Cooper is going to team up with a few NASA scientists to track down a lost astronaut to see if there is a suitable second Earth via a wormhole near Saturn.
I expect to spend the next two months listening to people wrestle with this film. The constant timeline shifts, the Spielbergian issues surround the missing father and a desire to wrap everything up with a bow while staying edgy. “Interstellar” isn’t edgy and it’s not reinventing anything that didn’t already exist. More than anything, it’s tweaking ideas that have been in play at the cinema for 50 years now. The problem is that the trips into fantastic are treated as pedestrian and everything feels second nature to Cooper’s desire to get home to his daughter. For a movie driven by IMAX level spectacle and the need to be innovative, why doesn’t Nolan take the time to show us the fantastic?
What I’m going to remember from the movie is the lack of an ending. Basically, they resolved Cooper’s emotional quest and then left his partner on an alien world to die. Sure, she’s starting the process to being new life, but the organisms being generated will evolve past the dying homo sapien. But, she’s not Cooper’s kid, so Nolan pretty much told her to go suck a fat one. The lack of direct vision in terms of the overall character arcs for anyone that didn’t just win an Oscar for Best Actor is astounding. I can’t wait to hear what you guys think, as this movie is going to be polarizing as hell this weekend. I fully expect an emotional response bingo card to be online by Monday.
RELEASE DATE: 11/07/2014