Christopher Nolan, Science Fiction, 169 mins, Nov 22
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Christopher Nolan is known to concentrate much more on the “fiction” than the “science” in his science-fiction movies, which is by no means a criticism; the technology in Inception (arguably) falls apart if you question it too much, but the film is engaging and entertaining enough to allow pithy remarks and short bursts of exposition to stand in for in-depth explanations. The director likes to leave questions unanswered, giving the audience the space to fill in the gaps as they see fit, which is rather rare in modern blockbusters.
Interstellar teeters on the same delicate tightrope of centering a narrative on unbelievable tech that is so well constructed on screen that the audience willfully accepts it. With the earth slowly becoming uninhabitable for the human race, a select group of experts are sent on a pioneering mission to find a suitable planet to which we can all escape. Matthew McConaughey is Cooper, the unwitting pilot of the expedition, who not only has the weight of the world on his shoulders, but also the burden of leaving a loving family, as he embarks on a journey that could take decades. McConaughey has been on top form these past few years and Interstellar keeps his batting average high.
The film is filled with juxtapositions, from the dustbowl barrenness of earth to the infinite beauty of the universe, or Cooper’s deep family ties that attach him to a handful of people and the greater picture of potentially saving an entire populace of people he doesn’t know. As always, Nolan keeps a steady pace, never lingering on a touching moment long enough for it to become sappy, or bombarding us with unnecessary violence or action. The 169-minute run-time may annoy some, but telling a story on this scale while trying to retain a personal touch is no easy task.