Belated thoughts and a reflection on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

Interstellar is an incredibly divisive film, with it’s events taking many by surprise, pleasing some and enraging others. Critics have turned on Christopher Nolan a little, he isn’t the untouchable god he once was. So what did i think?

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I couldn’t wait for this movie, it was directed by my favourite director, had an amazing cast and the trailers so far had nearly had me in tears. I was actively counting down the days until i saw this film in 15/70 IMAX at Melbourne Museum.

After the three hours were over and i had experienced Interstellar for the first time, i didn’t know what to think. In some ways i really liked it, it had moments of epic scale and a great score and the big twist ending i never saw coming. But i started to believe the unbelievable: i was disappointed with this movie. I thought they rushed some parts, the editing felt off in some ways and i wasn’t blown away as i’d hoped to be. I went home that night feeling honestly a little flat. How could this be? I’d loved and adored basically all of Nolan’s movies before this, so how could this be different?

But a strange thing happened, the more i thought about the movie and the more time that passed since i saw it, it began to grow on me. It started to dawn on me that it was a very different kind of Christopher Nolan movie than we’re used to. It’s raw, earnest and has a slower quality to it. When i saw the movie in regular digital a second time, the initial flaws i found with the movie melted away and i began to really appreciate what was on screen.

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McConaughey is sublime, one of his most real and heartbreaking performances, there are moments of epic nature that are jaw dropping and the score is soaring. Although these positives i noted on the first viewing. On the second and now third viewings, i’m beginning to appreciate the more quiet moments, the wonder and silence of space, the intimate father and daughter relationships and the deep melancholy the movie makes you feel, and still seem to like it. At first i was irked and confused with Matt Damon’s character, but on subsequent viewings you can really see the pain the character was in, and the madness he portrayed. I also began to love the ending, and how it’s ambiguous. Debating this movie with friends and family is a joyous experience and i love it’s divisive nature.

I admit it’s not perfect, and i was let down perhaps with Hathaway’s performance in particular, but i can now see this is Christopher Nolan’s beautiful, moving, heartwrenching and awe-inspiring love letter to his daughter that i think will be treasured and debated for years to come.

What were your thoughts on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar?

– Logan.

3 reasons why Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar could be the best film of 2014.

I am a Nolanite. I have been since i saw Batman Begins in 2005. In my opinion he has yet to have made a bad movie, and yes i am one of the people who loved 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. When it was announced that he was to direct a sci-fi epic written by him and his brother, i was pumped. After the first teaser was released, people were disappointed because it generally didn’t show any of the movie and was very ambiguous in nature. But, after seeing the latest trailer, the public (myself included) began to see what an epic, grand scale movie Nolan was making and how it, like Gravity, could be a game changer for the movie industry.

Here are three main reasons i am excited, and will be there opening night at IMAX. 

1.) Emotional resonance.

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The biggest criticism of Nolan and his films are often how they are very plot based and don’t have much emotional strength. I beg to differ, citing his first and last Batman movies as evidence, but i agree that Inception was very plot focused. To be a really, really great movie this needs to inspire and to tug on the heart strings. From the looks of the trailer, the father/daughter relationship will be at the emotional core of this movie. Great child actors are very hard to come by, but Nolan looks to have cast a fantastic one in the form of Mackenzie Foy. The dialogue in the trailer between her and McConaughey was chilling and the meaning behind the Murphy’s law and her name makes for a good set up for strong chemistry between the characters of Coop and Murph.

It can still be a good movie and be mainly plot driven, but to really invigorate everyone watching, Nolan needs to make use of his fantastic actors to give emotional, spellbinding performances. 

2.) Space and wormholes.

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From the second trailer, the space shots look absolutely incredible. The curving of the stars and other celestial objects as McConaughey and his ship travel through the galaxy look phenomenal and Nolan has really used some never before seen space imagery that looks amazing and trippy. Even thought much of the trailer is set on earth, it is rumored that roughly two thirds of themovie is set either in space or on a foreign planet and if this is true, then almost nothing has been shown from that standpoint.

What is really exciting is that while space has been done before, many times in film, there has never been such a high profile and sophisticated movie dealing with wormholes, especially by such a gifted director. While Wally Pfister (Nolan’s previous DoP) is not working on Interstellar, Nolan has brought in the talented Hoyte Van Hotema (Her) to give his movie a beautiful and unique look. While the earth moments in the film look fantastic and poignant, it’s the space shots that will really sell the movie to a wide audience.

3.) The Cast.

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A high caliber cast doesn’t begin to describe this ensemble of actors.. McConaughey, Hathaway, Chastain, Bentley, Affleck and Caine aren’t just big names, but incredible actors to boot. What a great few years for Matthew McCounaughey! Films like Mud, The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike, The Wolf Of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club have really cemented McConaughey as not just a rom-com actor who likes to take his shirt off, but a serious and talented Oscar caliber performer. Smart move by Nolan to cast the up and coming A lister as an ‘everyman.’ While the buzz around Anne Hathaway has died down after her Oscar win for Les Miserables, her talent has not and Interstellar is sure to shoot her back into the spotlight, Nolan must have really liked what he saw with her portrayal of Catwoman in his epic final to the dark knight saga in 2012.

I also firmly believe that Jessica Chastain is the greatest actress working today. She disappears into every role she plays and seems to be so extremely dedicated to her work and to her director’s. In an absolutely flooring performance in Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain was deservedly nominated for an Oscar and while Jennifer Lawrence won for Silver Linings Playbook, Chastain’s performance was superior in my opinion. Here’s hoping she lands more roles like this because her acting chops are phenomenal.

Rounding out the cast is the previously mentioned Mackenzie Foy, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn and Michael Caine. Those names are enough to lead a blockbuster movie on talent alone, and here they are supporting one. These actors will bring subtlety, emotional resonance and depth to these characters and their presence could not excite me more. 

So are you excited for Interstellar? What aspects intrigue you?

– Logan.

Interstellar teaser trailer review.

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This truly is a teaser. And while I can see why people are frustrated by the lack of footage, I also love the fact that nothing has been given away while still growing interest for this ambitious movie worldwide.

A spine tingling and ponderous track from the legendary Hans ZImmer in the background provides an excellent base for a trailer which shows previous space and aviation missions with a monologue by McConaughey on how it is our destiny to explore space and how in order to achieve great things, we need to continue to push the boundaries of human travel.

A very poignant trailer which sets up the tone and emphasises the gravity (no pun intended) of this movie’s story.

A great teaser. Shows enough to get is excited but nothing major to do with the characters. A typical Nolan troll.

Can’t wait for November 2014.

– Logan.