With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history: traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars.
Review by Louise Keller:
Conceptually brilliant, Christopher Nolan's epic sci-fi drama is all about time. Time - as the world's most valuable commodity, and in short supply - like the Earth's food. But it is also the enemy: every hour in the new galaxy beyond the three dimensional wormhole is the equivalent of 7 years. Agitating the boundaries of science with fantasy, Nolan's vision is hugely ambitious, like the film's near 3 hour running time, enabling total immersion. With its intellectually stimulating ideas and profound emotional ballast, Interstellar makes a solid impact, albeit without the Wow Factor.
The early scenes firmly establish the characters and reality in which Matthew McConnaughey's former engineer and NASA test pilot Cooper lives on a remote corn farm with his two young children and father-in-law (John Lithgow). Ten year old Murph (Mackenzie Foy, excellent) is the apple of her father's eye with the same scientific mind and adventurous spirit. Jessica Chastain assumes the role as she grows up - Murph's resentment against her father for 'deserting' her is an ongoing theme. Goggles and masks are regularly used against the frequent dense dust storms. The curious notion of ghosts and gravitational anomalies lead Cooper and Murph to a hidden NASA headquarters, run by Michael Caine's Professor Brand, who confesses to not being afraid of death, but of time. He repeatedly quotes Dylan Thomas' poem 'Do not go gentle into that good night; Rage, rage against the dying light'. Plan A will save the world; Plan B offers another alternative.
After a riveting rocket-launch scene that gets the space adventure underway, along with weightlessness, there is a sense of timelessness - enhanced by Hans Zimmer's bewitching score whose melody line rises slowly and gradually in semi-tones. Absolute honesty is not deemed as the safest way to communicate in space - 90% truth seems to hit the mark as Cooper (as pilot), Brand's strong-willed scientist daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), co-pilot Doyle (Wes Bentley), astrophysicist Romilly (David Gyasi) and the spaceship's humour-endowed robot TARS (voice of Bill Irwin) find themselves together in close quarters.
It is the concepts that stimulate - the purpose of love, the impact of unforgiveable lies and the strong survival instinct as the crew make the two-year journey to Saturn. Highlights include the spectacular journey through the wormhole, the surprise occurrence on the barren, rocky snowy terrain and the final twist that concentrates on the closeness between father and daughter, as Cooper struggles to save mankind.
The scale is grand; McConnaughey is suitably heroic and Nolan prises us from our cinematic armchairs and launches us into the futuristic world of space travel and its concepts. It's not as complete as Memento, The Prestige or Inception, but you do feel as though you have been there for a hell of an adventure.
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(US, UK, 2014)
CAST: Matthew McConnaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, Matt Damon, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow
PRODUCER: Christopher Nolan, Lynda Obst, Emma Thomas
DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
SCRIPT: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Hoyte Van Hoytema
EDITOR: Lee Smith
MUSIC: Hans Zimmer
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Nathan Crowley
RUNNING TIME: 169 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 6, 2014