Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Better late than never. I finally got around to to viewing “Interstellar,” the much anticipated science fiction film from Christopher Nolan.
I like Nolan’s work. The only films of his I have not see are “The Prestige” and “Insomnia.” He is certainly one of the best directors out now and a great auteur. I do feel however that this is not one of his top works. By no means am I saying this is a bad film. It is good, but for me it falls short of Inception and his Dark Knight trilogy. Yes, that means “The Dark Knight Rises” as well.
First off, this is very well constructed film. Nolan always is great when it comes to building worlds whether it’s Gotham City or the world of magicians. In this case a future where the world has reverted to an agrarian society due to blight that is destroying crops. Cooper (McConaughey) is selected to lead a team to a new habitable world so that humanity may survive.
This film immediately invokes “2001: A Space Odyssey.” You can tell simply by the scope of the picture and some of the wormhole/black hole sequences recall that famous ending. It runs a lengthy 165 minutes but it never felt like it dragged. For a movie this long to have good pacing it is quite refreshing. Yet with this good pacing I never felt fully immersed in the story. It’s not difficult to follow because you get explanations at every opportunity. The problem with this exposition is that it’s mostly scientific based and at least for me, I didn’t fully grasp it beyond some basic science I have known since high school. The thing about 2001 I love is that I actually followed the narrative better because it did not explain everything. It sounds strange I know.
I also felt that while the cast certainly gave good performances, I didn’t find them totally memorable. The two characters I enjoyed the most were the robots CASE and TARS which actually seemed to have more personality than the crew. This of course also reminds you of HAL 9000. I really felt that Chastain was underused, basically acting as the emotion until the very end.
It sounds like I’m coming down hard on this film. It really is a good film, just for me this is a little bit lower on the ranks of Nolan’s movies for me. This is to Nolan’s filmography like “Death Proof” is to Tarrantino’s. And that’s not a bad thing either. Interstellar is good, just not great.