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MOVIE REVIEW: Interstellar

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By Dustin Heller

(Nov. 7, 2014) – Interstellar is the new science fiction film from famed director Christopher Nolan.  Nolan is the man responsible for The Dark Knight trilogy along with other great films such as Inception and Memento.  Aside from directing duties, Nolan also produced the film and co-wrote it with his brother Jonathan Nolan.

Because this is a Christopher Nolan film, there is a very impressive cast with Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, and Michael Caine.  The film is rolling out a limited release in North America on November 5 for theaters which still project 35 mm and 70 mm film formats and then goes wide on November 7.

The crops of planet earth are dying and the human race is on its way towards extinction with the limited food supply.  Farmer and former NASA pilot, Cooper (McConaughey), and his daughter Murph receive a message from outer space which sends them to a nearby top secret NASA station.  A wormhole (which can theoretically connect widely separated regions of spacetime) has been discovered and they need Cooper to pilot a mission to another galaxy in search of a new livable planet for the human race.

Cooper is now faced with the decision to leave his family behind and potentially never see them again, or head to another galaxy for the continuation of the human race.  Cooper decides to accept the mission and makes a promise to his daughter that he will return some day.  As the Earth is slowly dying off, it is up to Cooper and his team to search the galaxy for a new Earth before it’s too late.

Anytime Christopher Nolan makes a new film it’s going to be a pretty big deal, and Interstellar is no different.  This is definitely his most ambitious and daring work to date.  Interstellar is a full-blown sci-fi movie with all the bells and whistles available with today’s technology.  The obvious comparison is to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I believe even Nolan himself mentioned in a recent interview.  The viewing experience itself is worth the price of admission as this is truly a master class in filmmaking.  The views from outer space and the worlds that Nolan has created are nothing short of breathtaking.

The visuals are truly an achievement in cinema, but the story itself didn’t quite resonate with me as much.  Maybe I’m not able to see the bigger picture, but I was bored with some of it and it felt a little hokey towards the end.  The story is very complicated and involved and I think a second viewing would be very beneficial.  The score of the film is almost overbearing and way over the top at times, it is definitely used to manipulate emotions.

Matthew McConaughey turns in another brilliant performance and could potentially see a second best actor Oscar nomination after winning just last year.  Jessica Chastain also turns in a very powerful performance and Anne Hathaway is as good as ever.  I’m still processing the movie and still haven’t completely made up my mind about it…but isn’t that the sign of a good movie?

This is a film that will generate a lot of great discussion and will stick with people long after they’ve seen it.  Interstellar, above all else, is a grand achievement in movie-making and a film that should be seen in IMAX by anyone who loves the movies.  I’m still not sure if I completely understand it or even liked it, but I would definitely recommend to anyone to go see it.

Grade: B

Interstellar opens wide on Friday, November 7.