DVD review: Christopher Nolan's Interstellar - McConaughey shines
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine
Director: Christopher Nolan
So much was expected of Interstellar, given the breadth and depth of Christopher Nolan's previous work. Looking back at the trailers, the sneak previews and the gossip that surrounded the director's grand project, it was almost as though he had to make the perfect movie to justify all the hype.
Interstellar comes pretty close. What Nolan is able to do - as with Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity (2013) - is make the vastness of space (and time) travel seem intimate. There are concepts here that will baffle, and Nolan's story outstays its welcome by at least 30 minutes, but the film also explores what it means to be "human" and the ties that bind our various relationships together.
Matthew McConaughey plays the spaceman tasked with saving humanity once nature takes a turn for the worse, and his evolution into modern American cinema's latest "everyman" is completed by the role. Charm and charisma were always the actor's strong points, through an early career in flyweight rom-coms and actioners such as Fool's Gold (2008) that almost seemed beneath him.
The ease with which he portrays his character and the concerns he has as a father, forced to choose between family and fate, helps drive the narrative during the film's more laboured moments. And there are a few of those to endure.
Freed apparently of any limitations in terms of budget, Nolan lets his imagination run wild and his version of "space" is full of awe for its immensity, but he never lets that "wow" factor shift the focus from the inner journey that he's undertaking.
The running time of around three hours forces you to sit back and think about the concepts Nolan is exploring, specifically a human being's innate need to connect with others, to love and be loved. For all its fantastic flourishes, Interstellar is a simple tale that explores the needs within us all.
Extras: featurettes including The Science of Interstellar, Plotting an Interstellar Journey, Life on Cooper's Farm, The Endurance, The Simulation of Zero-G, Celestial Landmarks, Across All Dimensions and Time, Final Thoughts; trailers