Science Fiction has always been a favorite genre of mine. From the more fantastical films like Star Wars and The Fifth Element to more serious and grounded fare like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, I dig them all and love the sense of wonder that accompanies films in the genre. Not only are they fascinating for their technology and visions of what may be in our future, but they often have relatable stories that pertain in some way to the age we currently live in making us examine our society and question science and its advances. Christopher Nolan, who had previously reinvigorated the genre with Inception, returns with another game changer, Interstellar.
Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is an ex-pilot and engineer in the undetermined future where the Earth is drying up and being consumed by dust. All crops but corn have ceased to exist and mankind is running out of hope and starting to starve to death. Cooper is asked by NASA to pilot a ship to a mysterious space/time rift that has appeared in space in hopes of travelling through it to find a newly inhabitable planet for the residents of Earth. But leaving on the very important mission also means leaving his son and daughter behind, perhaps never seeing them again.
There are so many things about Interstellar that impressed me. First, the science. Based mostly on scientific fact or at least real scientific theories, the science in Interstellar is fascinating and intriguing and sometimes hard to comprehend. Most people don’t contemplate in their daily lives the effects of deep space travel and the effect it has on time itself. This is examined in great detail in Interstellar and it is terrifying and infinitely fascinating. Next thing is the effects. All of the effects work in Interstellar is just flawless, jaw dropping and stunningly beautiful. From the rift to the planets to the ship to the tech and robots, it is all hyper realistic and awe inspiring. And then there is the cast. Anne Hathaway is best in low key roles like this, just playing a regular person in an extraordinary situation. She is very good here and gives a very emotional performance. The same can be said for the Earthbound cast including Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Mackenzie Foy and Timothee Chalamet. But the heart of the film really lies in Matthew McConaughey’s performance as Cooper. This is a man asked to leave everything he loves, possibly forever, to save an entire planet. While that may be a slightly easier decision if the mission was a sure thing, the mission in Interstellar is anything but. The chances of finding a habitable planet are very slim, so that has to be factored in as well. It is absolutely heartbreaking. And while I won’t spoil any story elements here, I will say that certain elements of his mission are unfathomable and his emotional handling of them is deeply touching. It is one of McConaughey’s best performances to date, he continues to impress more with each role.
Interstellar is a phenomenal piece of science fiction storytelling and I cannot recommend it enough. You get some of everything here including one of the best looking Blu-ray’s to date with an audio experience that is nearly unmatched. Go buy Interstellar right away, it is an essential title in any movie collection.