Interstellar – Christopher Nolan (2014)

Interstellar is certainly Nolan’s most ambitious film, in every dimension: emotionally, visually, narratively. The seriousness with which it takes itself is impressive, and I did find it very affecting in parts – the middle third manages to weave some good old fashioned suspense into the larger issues of time, loss, and planetary decline, pinging back and forth between the personal and the cosmic very ably. Nolan also makes allusions to other existential space classics (2001, notably) in the visual register in an intelligent way. That said, the script has more than a few nods to a mass audience (although hardly as bad as it could have been in terms of explanatory dialogue), and the resolution was quite disappointing. I don’t want to spoil anything, but he certainly doesn’t avoid any of the unsatisfying “closed loop” metaphysics common to most movies about time travel. At least it has more weight than the downright stupid and pretentious ending of Inception. Still, it is well worth seeing, and Nolan’s best film; he’s not a major director in any sense but attention and clout, though. (I do appreciate his allegiance to shooting on film however). Enough with movies about saving the world – it’d be refreshing to see a major budget devoted to the question of how we might live in a world beyond saving.

Three and a half stars out of five

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