Interstellar, 2014, USA/UK
One of the most satisfying things is watching an incredibly long movie that just flies by. Interstellar is 169 minutes long, but when I watched it, I didn’t glance at my watch once. Thrilling storytelling, incredible visual effects, lush cinematography, and perfect music work together to make a wonderful, fast-paced, and moving film.
Earth has returned to an agrarian society as crops begin to fall victim to blight. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a former astronaut who has been reduced to living as a farmer. His daughter, Murphy (MacKenzie Foy) periodically believes she is seeing ghostly activity in her room. After a dust storm, her and Cooper discover coordinates that lead to NASA, where Cooper is talked into piloting a space craft through a wormhole into another galaxy by Professor Brand (Michael Caine) and his daughter (Anne Hathaway). Cooper, and Amelia are joined by a small crew, as they venture out in search of three possible worlds to replace Earth.
Interstellar focuses on the theme of human nature, and our will to live. Throughout the film, we constantly see examples of the human survival instinct. It has some profound and beautiful things to say about the significance of love, and its immeasurability. McConaughey does good work in the film – he plays an everyman who just wants to see his children again. It’s a beautiful, and heart-wrenching thing. The highlight of the film for me was Jessica Chastain, who was remarkable, and deserves recognition for her work. She’s such a wonderful actress.
I saw the film in IMAX, and it does benefit visually from an IMAX screening. Director Christopher Nolan shot parts of the film in 70mm, and it looks absolutely gorgeous on an IMAX screen. However, the sound mixing in my particular theatre was terrible. During the action scenes, I could not hear the dialogue, or the dialogue was so muffled that I had to strain to hear it. This is not an isolated issue: I’ve heard of this being an issue in many other cinemas. It wasn’t a deal breaker: I was generally able to figure out what was being said through context, or discovered what had been said minutes later when a plot thread was picked up again, but it certainly was irritating. You might want to call your local IMAX screen and ask if they’ve had any complaints about the dialogue in the action scenes.
As a film score nerd, I was especially excited for the score of the film. My favourite composer, Hans Zimmer, scored it, and his collaborations with Nolan have generated some of my favourite scores, period. He does not disappoint: the music is amazing, and may even top the music of Inception. I really hope Zimmer wins the Oscar for Best Film Score for his work on this film. I’m just disappointed that the soundtrack does not come out until November 18th!
Interstellar may be my favourite film of the year thus far. It’s one that absolutely must be seen in theatres, so please go and watch it!