Interstellar (2014) Miller Meter-10/10

Directed By:  Christopher Nolan

Written By:  Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy, John Lithgow, Michael Caine

PG-13     2 hr 49 min – Adventure | Sci-Fi

I’ve written and rewritten and no matter how much I try I feel I just can’t explain how truly special this film was.  I’m watching the official trailer for the 19 millionth time and now that I’ve seen the movie it’s even more powerful and epic than I thought possible…and that’s just the trailer!  Where do we begin?  I suppose we’ll start with plot.  In the distant future Earth is struck with famine and drought, and crazy climates.  Humanity has transformed from a technologically driven society to one much simpler, working solely for food and survival.  Cooper (McConaughey) is a dying breed; having once been an engineer/pilot for NASA he’s firm on his faith in technology.  Like most of the human race, despite his past career and education, he’s turned farmer.  He lives on the farm with his father in law Donald (Lithgow) and his two children Tom (Chalamet and Affleck) and Murph (Foy and Chastain).  His eldest kid Tom shows a strong liking to farming and unlike his father finds joy in knowing that’s his future.

coop w kids

His daughter Murph, however, shows more of inkling towards science and engineering like her father.  Some freak occurrences start taking place at the farm and Cooper takes Murph on an expedition that leads them to what will become their future.  Desperate for a solution to the human race’s undoubted extinction, Cooper agrees to take part in an expedition to a mysterious rip in the space/time continuum in order to find a habitable planet.  Leaving his family is obviously the hardest thing he’s ever done, especially since he’s parenting solo due to the death of his wife some years prior.  Murph is at the tender age of 10, and knows enough to know that chances are slim he’ll come back to her.  His boy on the other hand, is prepared to take over the farm and be the man of the house.  Coop has an absolutely heart breaking farewell with his kids, especially with Murph, and off he goes to NASA to save the world.  Heading the operation is Professor Brand (Caine) who’s uplifting and calming presence actually makes you feel like this could all work.  Cooper’s joined by a small crew, each with their own purpose.  We find a healthy taste of sexual tension with one of his co-explorers Brand (Hathaway) whose brilliance is matched by her beauty.  Flying towards the black hole the team is faced with the hardest decisions ever made by man in history, and Cooper must decide between the fate of the human race and seeing his children again.

coop w murph

Matthew McConaughey.  Holy. Shit.  Dallas Buyers Club was a good movie with good performances.  He did a great job in that flick.  That was NOTHING compared to what he did here.  I have NEVER seen him channel so much intensity, so much emotion and raw realistic power, and he did it flawlessly.  This is hands down the best performance of his entire career.  There were scenes that literally broke my heart, there were scenes that I cheered and some I panicked, and Matthew’s acting was what drove that home for me.  Every once in a while Cooper receives a transmission from his kids and when he does, get ready…not a dry eye in the joint.  Michael Caine is ALWAYS phenomenal in these supporting roles.  He’s the glue of the emotional web of characters, holding all of it together.  Matt Damon pops his head in for a while, he doesn’t disappoint either.  Visually this thing was absolutely perfect.  Though it’s set in the distant future it has a certain calming simplicity to it, nothing over the top or unimaginable.  The camera work was literally perfect, every scene looked like a perfect picture and everything Nolan did to capture life in space was relayed beautifully.

murph crop

 

The film received some heavy criticism for its scientific accuracy and to those who do I say this…it’s a movie, one of the best, so shut up and enjoy yourselves.  Christopher Nolan and Jonathon Nolan penned one of their (if not the) best screenplay to date and behind them they had world renowned physicist Kip Thorne so…settle down.  I like to think that I understand the basics of black holes and time travel etc. but this movie took these subjects to a whole different level.

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No movie that I’ve seen is equally stunning visually as it is emotionally and story/script wise.  Another thing that people seemed to complain about was the sound mix.  Idiots.  When a space ship is crashing do you think that everyone can hear each other clear as day? No.  Nolan does that on purpose to maintain realism.  Deal with it.  Sound mix is fine, you may have to pay a shred more attention here or there but you should be anyways!

interstellar.black_.hole_

Closing Thoughts:

The last hour of the film was quite possibly the best last hour of any movie I’ve seen in longer than I can remember.  Brace yourselves to have your hearts and minds ripped out and smashed together for 3 hours…this was not a mellow experience and when it was over, I was literally speechless.  Christopher Nolan proves again why he is absolutely unparalleled when it comes to making BIG movies.  Brilliant movies, movies that make you think and wonder not just explosions and nonsense.  The movie has emotional ups and downs and I would not call it a happy movie for the family to see on a Friday night.  I went alone; damn glad I did because I cried probably 5 times.  Christopher Nolan could have catered to what people always want/need/receive in a movie and given a totally unlikely outcome where everyone wins and everything is happy and perfect but NO!  He goes with realism and it hurt and it was sad and stressful beyond belief but they payoff was so much sweeter.  He’s got balls, big ones, and instead of giving us some poppy mainstream BS he gave us an absolute masterpiece.

 

 

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