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Sunday, December 14, 2014


directed by Christopher Nolan
[director filmography: The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Inception (2010), The Dark Knight (2008), The Prestige (2006), Batman Begins (2005), Insomnia (2002), Memento (2000)]

written by Christopher Nolan [all of the above except Insomnia] & Jonathan Nolan [Brother & co-writer of The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Memento]

starring Matthew McConaughey [Oscar Winner for Best Actor in Dallas Buyer's Club], Anne Hathaway [Oscar Winner for Best Supporting Actress in Les Miserables], Jessica Chastain [Zero Dark Thirty, The Help, The Tree of Life] & Michael Caine [2-time Oscar Winner for Best Supporting Actor in Cider House Rules and Hannah and Her Sisters]

ENJOYMENT: ***** (out of 5)
"One of the greatest science fiction films of all time, and second favorite of the year."

At this point it shouldn't be a surprise that Christopher Nolan made another masterpiece since he is undoubtably one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived (and is only 44 years old!), so I will not belabor the point. Interstellar is phenomenal. The first time I saw it was in standard definition, and I wasn't expecting it to be so deep and hard to wrap my mind around. When I walked out of the theater, and for the 24 hours afterward, I wasn't quite sure even what I thought. I knew I had seen a spectacularly shot film with stunning visual effects and sound and I was sure that there was brilliant acting, directing and set design, but as a whole I was really thrown for a loop. Had I known before I saw it that Interstellar would attempt to stay true to what is known, theorized or speculated about in terms of the science of relativity, spacetime, wormholes and black holes, I may have been prepared to not completely understand what I had just seen. Nonetheless, after a second viewing in IMAX, my questions were mostly answered and the film as a whole came together for me (especially with the incredible sound!). Interstellar is smart, touching, and inspiring and it keeps Nolan's perfect directorial credentials intact.

Back in 2006, before Nolan was attached to direct, Kip Thorne, a world-renowned astrophysicist, aimed to make a film that stayed true to the laws of physics and would be in agreement with respectable scientists in the field*. In fact, the first director attached to this project was Steven Spielberg and he agreed to direct the film after being presented with only an 8-page treatment. This shows the recognition and longing of a film that stays true to science, since any scientist will tell you that what is possible in this universe, both known and unknown, is better than anything even the best filmmakers in Hollywood including Stan Lee could make up. Interstellar is proof that these films should be made and need to be made. Who knows, in an age without an Apollo program, how many young people a film like this could inspire to enter science. This is a bit of a tangent from a typical film review, but it does emphasize the brilliance of this film. As of right now, Interstellar is #15 on the IMDB Top 250 films of all-time along with six other films that Nolan directed (and is behind The Dark Knight [#4] and Inception [#13]). No other filmmaker has this sort of recognition and it is proof that Hollywood can be both smart and entertaining and that the intelligence of audiences needs to be trusted with this sort of subject matter. 

Interstellar is an original science fiction film in the age of countless sequels and adaptations of comic book movies and fantasy novels, and it painstakingly confined itself within the realm of the possible in order to tell us a story audiences have never seen before. After watching this movie, it will be difficult to believe that this is in fact based on current understanding of physics, but that is the beauty and guts of this film. In addition, Nolan added brilliant characters, story lines and philosophies about love, altruism, bravery and evil to tell one of the greatest space odysseys ever told.

*If you're interested in more of the story behind Interstellar and to better understand the science behind it, pick up "The Science of Interstellar" by Kip Thorne.

OSCAR PREDICTIONS: As validation of how backwards the Oscars can be, Nolan has never even been nominated for Best Director. Despite the brilliance of this film, there is unfortunately no reason to believe this time will be any different. Interstellar will be nominated for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Editing, and Best Original Score, and maybe Best Original Screenplay. It will win Best Sound.

Other ratings: IMDB (8.9/10, #15 on Top 250), Rotten Tomatoes (73%)

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