Interstellar

5 OSCAR NOMINATIONS! Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound, Sound Editing, Original Score

Nominated for 5 Oscars! Christopher Nolan’s overwhelming, immersive and time-bending space epic ‘Interstellar’ is long, grand, strange and demanding. It’s a bold, beautiful cosmic adventure story with a touch of the surreal and the dreamlike, and yet it always feels grounded in its own deadly serious reality.

Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) lives with his family – his father-in-law (John Lithgow) and two young kids – in a not-too-distant future. Dust storms brew, and there’s an apocalyptic vibe, as if the Depression of the 1930s had been transplanted to a dying Earth. This rough-and-ready everyman’s destiny is to join a secret project to save the Earth directed by the ageing Professor Brand (Michael Caine). And so he blasts into orbit in the company of Brand’s daughter (Anne Hathaway) and two other scientists. This is no bus hop to the Moon: their aim is to slip through a wormhole near Saturn and search for other planets capable of sustaining life. You might understand the science, but the chances are you won’t. Yet still ‘Interstellar’ inspires trust, and all the formulae and ample talk of wormholes is best taken as mood music.

Nolan is ably assisted in this respect by a cast you can believe in. The real star is McConaughey: his earthy grit and family-man vulnerability are well placed: we believe his tears when the reality of multi-decade space travel sets in. Meanwhile the father-daughter relationship between Caine and Hathaway hits home with a sharp brutality.

This is a sharp, tense experience. There are some staggering visual coups, but alongside these thrills are moments of intense danger, and Nolan makes us feel the threat. Parallels to Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ are more than obvious. But where ‘Interstellar’ is more Spielberg than Kubrick is in the  relationships at its heart. Yet the final tone is all Nolan’s: the film’s devastating emotional strands refuse to give way to empty sentiment and are embedded in a fractured sense of a nightmare unfolding before the eyes.

‘Interstellar’ is a spectacle, but it also asks you to think hard, look hard and urges you to return for more. Why only ask for the stars when you can have moons, distant planets, extra dimensions, lectures on physics and a sobering shot of terror? ‘Interstellar’ has it all. - TimeOut

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