Interstellar – The Bar For Modern Sci-Fi

screengrab from interstellar

Movie review of the new movie from Christopher Nolan, Interstellar. Warning: not spoiler free.

I normally try to keep my movie reviews to one line but this one seems like a movie that deserves just a little more. Also, this is not spoiler free, so please turn around if you haven’t seen the film yet.

To begin, let’s get the obvious out of the way. The film is brilliant. Cinematography is outstanding, acting is outstanding, and the story is outstanding. (If you haven’t guessed by now, I really like this movie.)

To go more in depth, let’s take a look at what made this movie so great. The meticulousness that has come to be synonymous with Christopher Nolan films is really showcased here. He was able to create not only worlds that will be visited in the film, but also create a portrait of Earth that most of us hope to never see. He created a sense of desolation with the motif of the planet around him. Crops are failing, men and women are dying, government is struggling to maintain the viability of the earth itself. All of this is present with the world that Nolan creates.

Visually, he is able to create new worlds for humanity to explore and believable black holes and worm holes. He creates a ship that not only uses modern thoughts and concepts on long distance space travel, but also is played down enough to look like it is built from the scraps of previous missions. The painstaking efforts that go into what seems every scene separate this movie from much of science fiction today.

To go with the incredible visuals, was terrific acting. Anne Hathaway had one of her best roles of her career. Her monologue on love was truly one of the bright spots of a movie with a multitude of bright spots. Michael Caine was brilliant as the antagonist that no one suspects. Many movies cheese out the death scene, but Caine lying on his death bed confessing his sins felt perfect for this movie. Jessica Chastain worked out very well as the unlikely heroine. However, more than anything Matthew McConaughey was brilliant. In a three hour film, I was not upset by his consistently talking out of the side of his mouth which is saying a lot.

Above all, the story is what truly stood out above everything else to me. It was slightly marred by its insistence to rely upon the overused cliche of “love conquers all,” but in everything the story was excellent. It took us through the desolation of a dying world to the hope of a plan. There was no fanfare upon the launch of this plan like Armageddon, but a small unattended launch. It took you through the pitfalls of a mission with low probabilities of success and the fear of failure. But more than anything, it all led to a crescendo of joy that overpowers everything else by the time the movie was over.

Interstellar did something that very few films are able to do for me anymore. It left me with a smile and hope. It was the quintessential film of the genre for the year and it was able to paint a picture of desolation triumphed by man’s greatest tool – it’s fight for survival.

Andy G for short, is a digital media designer for a local college, previously for some radio stations. If you’re wondering what a digital media designer is, he helps make the internet look pretty. When not at work, he is either at the gym or involved in generally nerdy activities.