We took in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar last weekend. First movie night since our previous baby-sitter went to college, so yeah, the wife and I were reminiscing with friends about how we used to see movies every weekend…
We enjoyed this film quite a lot – sometimes in spite of itself. As far as I’m concerned, the more big budget movies that reasonably attempt to intelligently tackle space travel and sci-fi themes the better. Yes, the Nolan brothers are insistent here – insisting that their framework of time and inter-generational connectivity drive the plot – even in the face of the extreme distance and sheer statistical unlikelihoods of interstellar travel. Just like the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Memento, the Nolans are all in, using the conventions of movie storytelling and expectations to reinforce their thematic agenda. As noted: insistent.
We liked the generational love-story. Very intense, very different from your typical male/female lead romance. We liked the slow-build first act, reminiscent of Close Encounters. We liked the scope and feel of the big space moments, supported by an effective score. The acting performances were all first-rate.
So the science aspect of Interstellar, the insistence on the narrative framework inter-connections… Yes, they work in the moment, but afterwards this bothered me a little. And if you look at other reviews of this movie, you’ll find the sci-fi community a little less enamored of it than the general consumer, mostly for this reason. Ideas on relativity and time, and sustainable life in the proximity of black holes – these are tough to convey to a general audience without too much dumbing down. I’d be curious to know what actual physicists thought about this.
Still, it’s a very good movie, and if you think you’re the kind of person who’d enjoy Interstellar, you should certainly give it a look.