Interstellar (review)

I have to state first of all that this review contains no spoilers. That explains its brevity.

Like all Christopher Nolan films, Interstellar’s plot is an elegant arc — one that is able to carry various inconsistencies that find their way into any film featuring time travel. Most of the niggly bits are unimportant, but it was fun to draw them out in discussion after the screening.

Matthew McConaughey is superb. Yes I wrote that, and yes he seems like an arsehole in real life. But dammit the man can act. He approaches the ludicrousness of situations in Interstellar (I’d be more specific, but spoilers) with such honesty, that he never is trite or feels inauthentic. I would certainly place his performance on a par with Dallas Buyers Club. While Interstellar isn’t the best Nolan film in his redoubtable oeuvre, it easily beats almost anything else (Gravity was a mere space walk in comparison), and certainly merits watching again.

All the supporting cast members give solid performances, with the occasional exception of Anne Hathaway. At times she feels somewhat hollow and unconvincing, but I may be being much too critical. Her character does have its own particular story arc that winds up convincingly.

Visually Interstellar is stunning. The patiently slow pacing reminded me starkly of 2001: A Space Odyssey, only it was better (sorry Stan). The utter remoteness of deep space travel, and the soul crushing silence of that environment, is very effectively conveyed.

If I had to isolate the main theme of the film it would be human love. The one thing that Hatheway’s Amelia Brand says can transpose the constraints of time and space. Without disclosing plot details it is the driving force behind Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper. Love for his daughter above all else. And it is convincingly portrayed, Jessica Chastain did well in this regard as the older version of Cooper’s daughter Murph. But the standout is the younger Murph, Mackenzie Foy. Her performance is faultless, and the ‘chemistry’ between her and McConaughey is very realistic.

Interstellar is a good film, a very imaginative one, but maybe not quite a great one. I think it ranks with AI/Artificial Intelligence, a very interesting concept movie, one that other filmmakers build on. Well worth seeing though, multiple times. Even if Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to tear it a new wormhole.

One thought on “Interstellar (review)

  1. Liz Boon

    Great review, Joe. We saw this film yesterday and I was unsure what I thought of it. Good film – yes. Great film – probably not.


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