Film Review – Interstellar (2014)


Interstellar is the highly anticipated space thriller from Christopher Nolan (Inception, Memento and The Dark Knight), staring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway.

Cooper (Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club, Magic Mike) is an ex-astronaut now farmer living in a dying Earth plagued by dust storms. After some unexplained events he ends up at NASA headquarters where Professor Brand (Michael Caine) approaches him to pilot a mission through a wormhole to investigate three planets that scouts have earmarked as potentially habitable for humans. This takes him on a fantastical journey accompanied by Amelia (Anne Hathaway, The Devil Wears Prada) and a smart-arse robot TARS that involves extreme conditions, time shifts and a looming black hole.

The film very much has the stamp of Nolan over it, and it’s other worldliness makes it similar in ways to his previous film Inception. With that in mind this is very much Nolan’s vehicle and not a vehicle for the talent of McConaughey. If you’re looking for a film where McConaughey is the twisted, self-confident southern maverick that we loved in Dallas Buyers Club, True Detective or even at a stretch Magic Mike, then you wont see this in Cooper and we wouldn’t of notice if the character was played by someone else with less gravitas. That being said, he is reliably great in the film and plays Cooper with conviction and comedy.

Anne Hathaway is surprisingly likeable in the film, and supports McConaughey well throughout the film. Jessica Chastain does a fantastic job as Cooper’s daughter Murph who keeps things going back on earth and a notable mention should be made for Matt Damon’s Dr. Mann.

Shot on film, the grainy, 70’s vintage stylings make the film stand out stylistically and it’s visually stunning throughout. The film’s noticeable lack of a 3D version should be commended in not pandering to the current expectations of blockbusters films, however I imagine it will look great on IMAX.

Nolan presents some big and interesting ideas in this film, including some rather odd suggestions of a connection between love and science. These ideas because of their fantastical blurring of science’s restrictions are in some ways reminiscent of those presented in Mike Cahill’s I Origins from earlier this year. Though interesting and novel, the ridiculousness of these ideas have the possibility of losing and dividing audiences and may not provoke the reaction from audiences that Nolan is expecting or would like.

Interstellar is a long but action-packed space thriller, with enough story to keep you riveted until the end. However some of the ideas and the fantastical, verging on the ridiculous ending will divide audiences. I’m still confused whether the ending was a satisfying conclusion for me for what was a visually breathtaking space odyssey of a film, however I feel compelled to re-watch the film and talk about it at length to anyone who will listen. I urge you to watch this film to make your own decision about what may-not be the masterpiece Nolan was hoping for, but will be one of the most talked about and remembered films of 2014.


Alice Hubley

GenreAdventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi  Distributor: Warner Bros Release Date: 7th November 2014  Rating: 12A Director:Christopher Nolan Cast:Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain