A stellar movie every sci-fi fan should see
a review by JACQUES NECHQUES. Recommended number of wine glasses before reading this piece:
OW THAT you’ve come down from that terrific performance at Super Bowl, (and I’m not talkin’ ‘bout Beoncé’s piss-poor gig in the half-time show), it’s time we moved on. Let's review another movie. A number of days ago, I reviewed The Martian. Now it’s time to talk about another—altogether better—sci-fi flick: Interstellar.
Interstellar is anmovie, worthy of three hours of your time. [Nothing like the three hours you spent watching the painfully endless Dances With Wolves back in the day. Promise.]
Let’s start with something not necessarily associated with great sci-fi movies (although there are certainly huge exceptions*): music. When you watch Interstellar, listen to the music. It’s sweeping; it’s epical; it adds so much to the movie. Really.
So, let’s get to the crux. Before I go much further though, I have to say this: I’ve never been a really big fan of Matthew McConaughey. Six-pack notwithstanding, I’ve often tried to like him, yet my endeavors have been in vain. “All right, alright, alright, alright, alriiiiiight…” He’s always come across to me as conceited—not one of my favorite characteristics in a person. Believe me, I’ve tried. To like him. But there’s just that sense of hubris in Matthew Mc. It has effectively served to deflect my attempts to appreciate his acting. Really deflect.
The above information and perspective notwithstanding, Interstellar has offered me a new view of Mr. Mconaughey: In Interstellar, I thought he was fantastic. Outstanding, even.
Couple Matt’s performance with the delicious acting of Anne Hathaway, and I have to say, these two made this movie rock (that, and the plot, the character arcs and the special effects). From my observations, in the past Ms. Hathaway hasn’t necessarily set herself apart from the acting pack either. Yet, she did real good in this flick. Real good. I was totally able to remove my awareness of the actress from the character (ditto w/ Matthew): My definition of great acting.
Add to this, the superstar contribution of (Sir) Michael Caine, as well as offerings from the other actors in this production (Ellen Burstyn anyone? I mean, come on!), and you wind up with a really, really, really, good movie. If not a great movie. Other actors?: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow (!), Mackenzie Foy. They all did good.
Matt Damon was in not only this flick, but also The Martian, which I have recently reviewed. Allow me, if you will, to compare these two Damon-graced movies: Although I truly enjoyed The Martian, and I appreciated its drama, suspense and its will-he-make-it plot, I frequently found myself telling me that the ending of said flick was going to be too-painfully-obvious. It followed a time-worn, predictable pattern. Yes, the pattern was somewhat reassuring, but it was a pattern. Any fool who has seen more than four movies knew how it would end.
Interstellar, not so much. It was better.
The ending of Interstellar revealed new information (yet, said information didn’t spoil the plot at all; it added to the movie in a deep way). This newness wasn’t contrived; indeed, it had been artfully alluded-to from the beginning.
In my opinion, Interstellar was written “outside” the box of over-used predictability. I thought it was craftily-presented. It all tied together quite artfully.
In contrast to The Martian, this movie also incorporated a struggle that involved more than simply the survival of one man (Damon, in The Martian). In Interstellar the stakes involve not just the survival of one man, but of all humanity itself. There’s so much more emotion and compelling human connection here than in The Martian that it’s not even funny.
Interstellar is drenched in humanity: The will to survive, as a species. Moreover, it touches the haunting emotion that shadows every person: regret. Who among us hasn't wished for a Mulligan?: wishing we could do it over. McConaughey did a great job of showing his character’s (Cooper) overwhelming desire to re-do the events that separated him from his daughter. [Oh, should I have inserted a SPOILER ALERT tag there?]
If only we could do it over. Do life over. Throw our experience and knowledge of our later years upon the naivety of our younger years. Yes. If you’re human, you have regrets, no?
I heartily recommend Interstellar. If you haven’t liked Matthew McConaughey before, you might find yourself liking him how. The plot is really good. The acting is stellar, if not actually. The music was nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes. Well-deserved, IMHO. Listen to the music. In so many ways, the music makes Interstellar. Special effects, plot and acting notwithstanding.
* Star Wars theme anyone? How ‘bout the Star Trek theme? Prometheus: Yes. And anything at all that John Williams has done (did he do any sci-fi?).