Directed by Christopher Nolan
I can say, without reservation, that “Interstellar” is director Christopher Nolan’s most timeless work yet. As hard as it is to believe, Nolan has topped himself. His “Dark Knight” trilogy perfected Batman, but the caped crusader will be adapted again soon. “Memento” is incredible, but too complex for most viewers. And “Inception” had too many loose ends that it never sewed up. But “Interstellar” is nearly perfect, at least as far as science-fiction movies go. It’s our generation’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” a monumental success on so many levels.
NASA officially shuts down sometime in the near future, when food is sparse and space travel is seen as an unnecessary expense. But a few dedicated scientists (like Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway) know the importance of space travel. Now, with a 21st century dust bowl destroying crops and making mankind’s future grim, these space travelers are looking for a new home. When they call upon Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a widower and former pilot, to lead one final expedition to find mankind a new planet to call home, he’ll have to choose between spending his life with his daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy) and son Tom (Timothee Chalamet) or trying to ensure they have a future. When Cooper decides he needs to take the trip, he warns his daughter about the drastic effects of the space travel he’ll be enduring (including the slowing of time, which leads Cooper’s children to be played by Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck during most of the film). Will Cooper and Brand (Hathaway) find a habitable planet in time to save the last living members of the human race, or will they have to take more drastic measures?
Nolan has a way of making us believe in the power of movies. “Interstellar” is a complex family drama and an epic space saga, with some Nolanian humor (Christopher, but also his brother, screenwriter Jonathan) to loosen things up. It’s an achievement on so many levels. We’ll start with acting. Could Matthew McConaughey be looking at another Oscar nomination? Maybe. Either way, the McConaissaince certainly continues. You see tears, you see passion. And Anne Hathaway earns her keep, too. A Nolan grad (“The Dark Knight Rises”), Hathaway nears closer to her Oscar-winning performance in “Les Miserables” than her tacky role as Selena Kyle in Nolan’s superhero epic. As Cooper’s father-in-law, John Lithgow proves himself as a national treasure. And Michael Caine could end his career tomorrow and “Interstellar” would have been the perfect capper to a prominent career.
Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer puts himself in a good position to win another statue with his organic score. And by organic I mean he uses church organs. Not since Andrew Lloyd Webber has so much been done with the instrument associated with prayer and worship around the world. The most impressive part? Zimmer didn’t see a single scene before the score was composed. Nolan only told him the overarching theme of a father/daughter relationship that spans time and lightyears, and Zimmer took off and created a beautiful score that’s refreshingly original and boomingly emotional.
If science-fiction ever gets the recognition it deserves, “Interstellar” will stand out with classics like “Blade Runner” and “Alien.” “Interstellar” is “Gravity” with a story, “Star Wars” with a social conscience. And it will blow your f*cking mind. Not seeing it in theaters – twice, even – would be a huge disservice to yourself. Christopher Nolan has never been one to go gentle into that good night, and “Interstellar” is truly his masterpiece.