Movie review: Interstellar (2014) directed by Christopher Nolan

Product info (from Wikipedia):

Sometime in the 21st century, a series of crop blights on Earth threatens humanity’s survival. Joseph Cooper (Mathew McConaughey), a widowed former NASA pilot, runs a farm with his father-in-law, son Tom (Casey Affleck), and daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy, then Jessica

Chastain and finally Ellen Burstyn), who believes her bedroom is haunted by a poltergeist. Living in a post-truth society (Cooper is reprimanded at school for telling Murphy that the Apollo missions did indeed happen), Cooper encourages his daughter to carefully observe and record what she sees. They realize that a pattern of dust on the floor is created by gravity variations and are able to decode it as a set of geographic coordinates.Cooper and Murphy follow them to a secret facility, where Cooper’s former professor, Dr. Brand (Michael Caine), continues to operate NASA in secrecy after it was officially closed down. Brand reveals that a wormhole which appeared near Saturn opens a pathway to a distant galaxy with potentially habitable planets. They hope it will allow them to find another Earth. Still will they manage to beat the odds?

My impressions:

Welcome to the world in which America, or rather the USA, are the only country that counts. Perhaps even the only country, period (I guess it’s a paradise according to D. Trump). Small wonder the Earth has serious problems and reacts accordingly. Crop blights, dust storms, water shortages and other unpleasant factors mean that soon enough even the blessed Americans will suffocate to death while being constantly hungry. And you know what? A small band of scientists, the hard core of disbanded and almost illegal NASA, have a solution. They’ve even sent 12 bravest, best and most suicidal astronauts to explore the possibilities offered by unknown alien forces in a form of a wormhole which leads nobody knows where. In other words they are grasping at straws.

Fortunately for them one of the best pilots turned farmer somehow deciphers the coordinates of their super-secret facility and comes with a visit. Then he finds out the twelve magnificents have disappeared into the black hole and nobody knows anything about their fate. So *drumroll* despite being burdened by two kids Cooper agrees to participate in the last mission, along with dr. Brand’s daughter, delightful Amelia, played by Anne Hathaway and two other crew members, one black, so the ethnic minorities shut their collective mouth up. Everything is fine but, at that point, you’ve only reached one third of the 169-minute movie. And believe me, it already managed to make me feel bored at least twice, forcing me to make tea and welsh rarebits. Those sentimental, teary good-bye scenes are really not my piece of cake and here the main lead spends wayyyyy too much time saying goodbye to everybody and their dog. Not to mention his long-dead wife.

Ok, let’s move to the good bits. I admit the journey through the wormhole was a slick CGI sequence, completely worth that Best Visual Effects award. I also liked the improvised chase of a drone across the fields and the shape and interior of Endurance spacecraft, clearly based on the International Space Station. The robots aboard had a sense of humour – a nice touch. Still…almost three hours of a space epic mean you either have to pack a lot of action and humour in them to keep your audience entertained or you bore some watchers to sleep. Unfortunately I suppose the director of Inception decided it was time for a bit of boredom.

Final verdict:

Too long, too lachrymose, too one-race-takes-it-all, Americans-are-the-greatest-nation movie. Watchable but only barely so. Meh.

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10 Responses to Movie review: Interstellar (2014) directed by Christopher Nolan

  1. blodeuedd says:

    I do not remember one thing…must have been boring

  2. heidenkind says:

    I interpreted more as a modern take on The Odyssey, with his daughter in the role of Penelope. But I agree it was overly long

  3. Carole Rae says:

    Ugh…noo thank you. America is trash (says the American) just like everyone else. I hate when Americans put America on a pedestal and calls it a day.

    But this sounds boring and I’m glad I skipped it. Thank you for reaffirming my thoughts when I saw the trailer eons ago.

  4. Melfka says:

    I agree it was too long, and unevenly paced (especially close to the end, where the two “timelines” needed to be managed closely), but I also saw a lot of potential in this movie. Well, at least until the end bit that seemed “icky”. At least it tried to do something interesting, something ambitious… Ask for questions, etc. Yup, I was bored at some sequences too (at some point I started making dinner while just listening to the movie), but in a way, I appreciate Interstellar for at least trying. Some neat ideas there that could have been utilized differently.
    (Here I apologize in advance for my rant.)
    As for the “America only”… We don’t complain about Swedes setting their horrors in Sweden. We don’t complain about Chinese shooting movies set not only in their own country, but also in their own history. We don’t complain about India (Bollywood, but not only) making movies about their problems and issues. Buuuut everybody feels entitled to complain that Americans make… movies about and centered on America. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see some larger scope of things in movies in general, but at the same time I feel it’s unfair that we praise many “local” productions, be it epic in scope (historical events) or addressing very “inside” issues, yet we bash American cinematography for doing the same (and why? only because they have money and they know how to sell their stuff to the rest of the world?). It feels a bit like double standards.

    • My problem didn’t concern the fact this movie was set in the US and dealt with just Americans and their issues. In my humble opinion, when you are supposed to shoot an epic film concerning the survival of the entire human race it would be very nice to mention the rest of the world – at least the bigger countries. Here Nolan completely forgot that other nations like China or Russia or France can also launch satellites and conquer the outer space, send their men and women to the cosmos. There was not even one whiff of international cooperation, a natural thing in such a global crisis. It was as if the International Space Station never existed. What was even stranger, nobody mentioned importing food from abroad, making me think that, contrary to the U.S.A., all other countries and indeed entire continents had succumbed to that crop blight long time ago and died off. Such an attitude reeked of implied chauvinism and chauvinism is one thing that I detest.

      • Carole Rae says:

        I agree with you, Ana. It’s fine to have movies set and center around America (or any other country), but with the end of the world movies, there is rarely a subtle nod to other countries or people. I also hate movies that glorify a certain country. No country is perfect.

      • No country is perfect, I completely agree. That’s why no country should be portrayed as better than the rest, sorry Americans.

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