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Interstellar: if Armageddon had gone to high school

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

I will never be able to do a review of a Christopher Nolan film without referencing Memento. This is a director with vision right out of the starting gate. He tells stories that are thoughtful and thought provoking and sometimes that make sense only to him.  I don’t pretend to understand everything he does, but I know I like to watch it.
Interstellar is a major undertaking and in some ways, is a walking talking dichotomy. It’s visually spectacular although at times what makes it compelling is its simplicity. It has a lot of attention to detail in terms of the science part of science fiction, but the heart of the film is love and hope. It has a complicated  story arc that includes travel through a wormhole and time dilation,  but really, it’s about a dad and his daughter

Our story so far.
Earth is dying, and it’s dying in a way that makes sense. We are guessing it’s about 30 years from now although they never say. Overpopulation is an even bigger problem than it is now and there is a blight killing crops and causing massive dust storms. As a result we are headed towards total asphyxiation.
Enter Matthew McConaughey, here named Cooper, who is a farmer and a former test pilot. Through the only really contrived plot device in the film he is drawn to an uber secret location that just happens to be where he lives and looky here, whats left of NASA is trying to save the world.
interstellarThere are two plans.
One involves frozen embryos and some kind of weird visit to the world of Klingon. No, not really, but of course in order for the movie to work we have to go with the big plan of taking as many humans as possible to a human friendly planet through the wormhole.
By the way, there are no tricks in this space odyssey.
It makes sense.
We understand that “space is hard”.
That’s a quote from a Virgin executive after their spaceship crashed.
Well no …Sherlock.
But I digress.

In Interstellar, space is hard and dangerous and Cooper isn’t sure he’s ever going to see his son and daughter again.
So off they go.
The story, like time , bends.
Cooper’s daughter Murph grows up and goes to work for the man who took her dad away from her.
In gift of the Magi style, Cooper abandons his daughter to find her a home which estranges her from him.
There are a few unanswered questions here and Nolan never fully lets you in on what’s going on, but this is his most human, most accessible film outside of the Dark Knight series.
It’s clearer than Inception. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Interstellar clocks in at almost three hours and this time it’s mostly ok.
We get to see the end of days coming on earth.
We feel it.
That part of the story is very well done.

There are links back to 2001: A Space Odyssey including making the soundtrack an integral part of the film. But this is primetime Nolan storytelling.
The cast is strong. Anne Hathaway, Jessican Chastain, John Lithgow and the ever present Michael Caine but this is McConaughey’s film. Make  no mistake.
I enjoyed Interstellar and I think there’s a lot to like in it for a broad audience. From sci fi fans to family drama fans. No, I made that part up. Put it this way. Imtersellar is what Armageddon could have been if it had finished high school.
See for yourself. Now playing at a theatre near you.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong.
That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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