Ever since he grabbed the public’s attention with the Oscar-nominated “Memento” in 2000, director Christopher Nolan has established himself as one of the most brilliant filmmakers of the 21st century.
His “Dark Knight” trilogy has been considered by many to be the gold standard of the superhero genre, and “Inception” was breathtakingly original.
Now he delivers his latest effort, “Interstellar,” and like his previous films, Nolan has concocted another contemporary masterpiece. It has all of the Nolan trappings: It’s bold, audacious, revolutionary in its filmmaking and storytelling, and rivals both “2001” and “Gravity” in its visionary depiction of space travel.
The movie stars Matthew McConaughey as Cooper, a widowed former NASA pilot turned farmer. He’s been asked by his old college professor (Michael Caine) to be part of a mission that could save the human race from extinction after the planet has suffered environmental devastation. Everything now looks like the Dust Bowl from the Great Depression.
The mission sends a series of scientists through an outer-space wormhole, a functioning gateway of sorts in our solar system that contains potentially habitable planets.
Without giving too much away, when the scientists pass through these wormholes, the laws of space and time no longer exist. For example, Cooper and fellow scientist Brand (Anne Hathaway) never age while everyone else on Earth does. What might be considered one minute in the wormhole might potentially be seven years passing on Earth. Jessica Chastain from “Zero Dark Thirty” plays McConaughey’s daughter as an adult.
What you get in “Interstellar” is a wholly original work of art. It definitely borrows and resembles elements from sci-fi classics like “2001” and “Alien,” but it introduces ideas that challenge us on so many deep levels and also gives us a vision in film that is impossible to duplicate. You clearly can see Nolan’s touch within every single frame.
Overall, “Interstellar” is a film that will leave audiences baffled, drained and exhausted narratively and emotionally. However, no one walking out will be able to say that the film isn’t worth talking about.
I remember reading a quote from James Cameron, talking about the late, great director Stanley Kubrick, in which Cameron said each time he was wondering if the latest Kubrick film was going to be able to wow him. He left feeling wowed every single time.
I honestly can say the same thing about Nolan.
Rated PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.