Review: Interstellar

Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey

Interstellar is a space adventure about time, space and the power of love to cross dimensions. The main character, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a pilot who sets off on a mission he believes will save earth and his two children.

Mild spoilers ahead.

The film starts on a dying earth subject to massive dust storms. Cooper is a former pilot, now a farmer living with his two kids. The kids are Murph (Mackenzie Foy) and Tom (Timothée Chalamet). They live on a farm growing hundreds of acres of corn. That’s the only thing that will still grow on earth. Cooper’s father (John Lithgow) lives with them. Young Murph has a brilliant mind. Together Cooper and Murph puzzle out a mysterious anomaly that leads them to a secret NASA installation headed by Professor Brand (Michael Caine). The professor’s daughter, simply called Brand, is played by Anne Hathaway. Brand is another scientist.

NASA found a worm hole near Saturn that will lead to galaxies far, far away where explorers have already gone looking for another habitable planet. NASA hasn’t heard from them in a while, but they are sure there is a planet waiting and they want Cooper to lead a mission to find it and the missing astronauts. Cooper, Brand and a couple of other astronauts set off.

Because of relativity, Cooper’s space travels seem to take him only a few months, but back on earth many years go by.

Jessica Chastain as Murph in Interstellar
Jessica Chastain as Murph in Interstellar

The adult Murph (Jessica Chastain) works for NASA where she tries to complete Professor Brand’s equations that will help bring her father back from space and save the earth.  The elder Murph (Ellen Burstyn) finally does meet her father once again on earth.

There’s a lot of theoretical talk about love in this film. About how it’s the force that binds the universe and holds all the dimensions of space and time together. It’s unusual in a space adventure, but it works.

Interstellar is visually stunning.
Interstellar took home an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

Interstellar is visually stunning. The dust storms, the space flight, the worm hole, the weightless scenes, the planets they visit, the scenes where Cooper crosses the time dimension to communicate with the young Murph – all rich and beautiful. Christoper Nolan directed and wrote (with Jonathan Nolan) the film.

Many well-known actors I haven’t yet mentioned show up in this movie. These include David Oyelowo, Collette Wolfe, Bill Irwin (as a cool robot much more fun than HAL from 2001, A Space Odyssey ), William Devane, Casey Affleck (as the adult Tom), Topher Grace, Matt Damon, and Brooke Smith.

Interstellar is currently available on Amazon Video, free with Amazon Prime. You can rent it on iTunes and YouTube. The film runs almost 3 hours, but it doesn’t feel long. It’s so engaging an adventure, you don’t even notice that it’s a long film.

Trailers

You get a tiny hint of visual effects from the trailers.

The international trailer shows more of the space effects.

I watched it on my TV, but it must have been eye-popping in a theater on the big screen. Have you seen it? I’d love to know what you thought about it.

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