Enter the most divisive film of the year.
Christopher Nolan’s (The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception) space opera is arguably the smartest blockbuster ever made – but may be a bit ‘out there’ for some tastes.
It’s a bold sci-fi production that maybe throws up more questions than answers – and has a ‘bonkers’ final third – but it’s a beautifully-crafted, sometimes touching, and undeniably thought-provoking film that hasn’t really been done before, and therefore makes it one of the year’s best.
The only possible reference would be Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey – with maybe a bit of Robert Zemeckis’ Contact and Danny Boyle’s Sunshine thrown in – but Interstellar is really a one of a kind movie experience that deserves immense plaudits.
Matthew McConaughey – fresh from his Oscar-winning turn in The Dallas Buyers Club – puts in another trademark performance as lead character Cooper, a widower of two – daughter Murph (the excellent Mackenzie Foy) and son Tom (Timothee Chalamet) – and ex-NASA pilot/engineer-turned-farmer in the most trying time in Earth’s history.
That’s because extreme changes in the planet’s climate has brought drought and famine – compounded by dilapidating dust storms that ruin crops – meaning humanity’s time on Earth is coming to an end due to these lack of vital resources.
Much to the devastation of Murph, Cooper heads up an important NASA exploration mission – which includes Anne Hathaway’s scientist Brand and orchestrated by her father (Michael Caine) – to find a solution via a newly-discovered wormhole.
This group of astronauts must then try and surpass the limitations of human space travel by exploring three potential far-away planets – and contend with the magnetic pull of a black hole – in an attempt to see if mankind has a future in another galaxy.
Sadly for Cooper though, the longer his quest takes, the older his family becomes – Murph and Tom literally turn into Oscar-nominated actors Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck respectively – as he continually fights personal anguish with time ebbing away.
The entire cast do their part for the cause, but it’s undoubtedly the visceral beauty of space that will linger in the memory – it’s a simply spine-tingling sensation to watch human space exploration that has never been done in a film like this before.
Interestingly the first two-thirds go towards potential science fact (by excellently playing with Einstein’s theories on the relativity of time and curvature of space), before the final third goes into pure science fantasy – and changing what we know about black holes.
And it’s at this point where it will particularly become divisive for audiences; it’s either gone too far, or after all the great work before it, deserves a bit of artistic license for the brothers Nolan (Christopher and Jonathan both wrote the script) ideas to run amok.
Fortunately, even though elements of Interstellar don’t neatly fall into place – which Christopher Nolan never intended to spark debate – its few wrongs are easily forgiven due to the stellar scale of its grander intentions, as the movie simply oozes originality from every pore.
So how can a flawed masterpiece get five-stars? It just did.
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Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Mackenzie Foy, David Gyasi, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Topher Grace, David Oyelowo, William Devane, Timothee Chalamet & Ellen Burstyn
Running Time: 2 Hrs 49 Mins
Director: Christopher Nolan[youtube id=”zSWdZVtXT7E” width=”600″ height=”350″]