If you know me, you know how much I love Christopher Nolan. Inception has been my favorite movie probably since the day I first saw it in the theater, I loved what he did with Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy, and I loved the twisty-turny mind games of The Prestige. I am happy to report that Nolan is still at the top of his game with Interstellar. In one word, I would describe this movie as profound. In a few, I’d say it’s a deeply moving look at humanity. It both does and does not feel like a typical Nolan film; in many ways it looked and felt different, but the themes of love and tragedy and triumph and humanity that are present in all his films certainly resounded in Interstellar.
I went into this movie virtually blind. Everything I knew was from the trailers, and there is a lot missing from the trailers, including some of the casting that ended up totally surprising me when they showed up on screen. And since I’ve mentioned the casting, it was incredibly perfect. I am not a Matthew McConaughey fan by nature. I blame it on the movie The Wedding Planner and the fact that he is just very hyped and if I don’t love someone who is hyped I sometimes end up disliking them. That’s terrible, I know, but anyways, he really delivered in this film, along with everyone else.
I want you to go into this movie mostly blind too, so I don’t want to give away too much. What I will say is that the future that Nolan created was scary, and not in some dystopia way, we’re talking in a the-Earth-is-dying way. There is this certain mysterious element going on, and to my surprise, I actually figured it out (the generalities, not the specifics) really early in the movie. However, it did not hinder my enjoyment of the film, and my husband did not figure it out. For those of you who have seen it, I will be curious to hear if you knew what was going on before the reveal. Despite having an idea of what was happening, the getting there and the how was still quite the ride.
I have heard a few murmurs about this film possibly getting Oscar nods, and I really, really hope it does. I don’t watch many Oscar contender movies, which I’m sure some people would say makes my taste in movies unrefined, but anyway, I could tell this movie was more of an Oscar-esque movie than most of the other movies I watch. There were several gratuitous space shots and other beautiful shots that really deserve recognition in addition to the great story and acting.
My biggest complaint against Nolan in the past has been his underdeveloped female protagonists, or at least me failing to connect with them. I did like Ariadne a good bit in Inception, and I thought Mal was a good character too, but otherwise, I have always been underwhelmed with the ladies in his movies. That is totally not the case with this movie. I LOVED Murphy, and I also liked Anne Hathway’s character Dr. Brand.
As I mentioned before, I had an idea of what generally might be happening, but before/during that reveal came some elements that, as my husband put it, were on the edge of going off the “deep end.” Yes, it’s science fiction, but it also seemed they were trying to make it pretty close to real science, and some of it started to feel like it might be a little hard to swallow. But thankfully I felt the “line” wasn’t crossed. I know that threshold is different for everyone, and heck, this whole paragraph might not even make sense to you, but I thought it was worth noting because it factors into my rating.
Lastly, I’ll vaguely mention the ending. The Prestige and Inception have the make-you-gasp, not-what-I-really-wanted-but-wow, open-ended sort of endings. The Dark Knight Rises ended so beautifully perfect (minus a certain someone in a cafe but I won’t go there now…). This is closer to a Prestige/Inception ending, but it plays out a little slower and doesn’t feel as shocking, if that makes sense. I didn’t dislike it, but it wasn’t his strongest ending.
This is a really fantastic story, and I am so pleased Nolan shared it with us. And of course, I am already eagerly anticipating what’s next from him. (Not Superman vs. Batman, which he is just producing, not writing/directing. Doesn’t count.) Not a perfect film, and not my favorite of his, but still very noteworthy. And it is definitely an experience in the theater, so go and watch it ASAP!