Interstellar Review

By: Mark Di Stefano
Rating: 10 out of 10

interstellarOuter space is a place where only a handful of people actually go. For the rest of us, there’s the movies.

From the immortal classics (Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey), to the indie favorites (Duncan Jones’ Moon) and everything in between, the stories told are as vast as space itself.

Where will Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar land? One of the best, simply put.

Matthew McConaughey stars as Cooper, a former NASA pilot who makes his living as a farmer. The world is dying, with frequent dust storms destroying crops and natural resources dwindling. When he discovers coordinates that lead to a secret NASA base led by Professor Brand (Michael Caine, in his sixth consecutive Nolan movie), he is ultimately recruited for a mission to pilot a crew through a wormhole to search for potential new planets to call home.

The ensemble here is top notch. Along with McConaughey and Caine (who both give powerful performances) there’s Anne Hathaway, her first big on-screen role since her Oscar winning performance in 2012’s Les Misérables. Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, David Gyasi, Casey Affleck and John Lithgow round out the cast.

The biggest character though, quite literally, is space. Christopher Nolan, along with his brother Jonathan (the two wrote the script together) managed to create a version of space that I don’t think many have seen before.

While the film raises the bar on many aspects, it’s as much an ode to the old sci-fi classics. The look of space in the movie is, while vibrant and filled with color, simplistic at it’s core.

That mix of old and new could also be found in Hans Zimmer’s score. A frequent composer on Nolan’s films, including the Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, Zimmer veered away from the grandiose approach on those films and tapped into a more classical approach. Much in the style of classic space movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Zimmer created something that’s just as vast, open, beautiful and ultimately, haunting, as space itself.

It’s a blessing and a curse that I saw this movie a later than others. While I didn’t see it the first weekend it opened, I learned that a lot of moviegoers complained about the sound in iMax theaters. Personally, I didn’t find the sound too overbearing when I saw it in iMax. In fact, it added more to the experience. You felt like you were there in the shuttle when Cooper and his crew left earth.

For those saying that he’ll be forever remembered for The Dark Knight saga, you’re not completely wrong. He has created a legacy that will forever be immortal. He is part of that legacy, but he’s not defined by it. If Interstellar has proven anything,  it’s that he is one of the best storytellers in the business today.

There are skeptics and critics out there who may say that the theories of time and space presented in the film are non-sense. My response: Who cares? It’s only a movie.

A movie, that has stretched the limitations of my imagination of not only what’s possible out there in the world, but in the movies as well.


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