Industry » Interstellar - Simply out of this world

Interstellar - Simply out of this world

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To say Interstellar is an emotional piece of work would be a massive understatement. On more than one occasion during the 169 minute run time I found myself so utterly engrossed with the performances that I was close to welling up.

The last time I was this emotionally involved was E.T, I was six! I'm not comparing the two movies, but I did get the same feeling during the pivotal moments of E.T when our off-world visitor turns grey and becomes a very poorly spaceman! It takes quite a bit to tug on my heart strings.

Set in a future that sees the world low on food after a massive crop blight and where the most important vocation for the next generation is farming, we are introduced to Cooper, his two children, Tom & Murphy, and Cooper's brilliantly world-weary father-in-law Donald played by the always amazing John Lithgow.

Cooper is a former NASA test pilot who never got to fly quite as high as he would have liked and so remains grounded being the sole caregiver and provider for his family.

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All is as would be expected for The Cooper's until Murphy, the spirited youngest daughter of the family, suspects she may have a ghost in her room that is trying to communicate via binary coordinates on her dusty bedroom floor.

This plays much better than it reads. It's from this point onwards that the story really begins and we are introduced to a scheme cooked up by a select group of NASA's finest remaining minds to save the world, or continue its existence in some shape or form.

Christopher Nolan's work is always of great interest to me purely for the fact that he was the first in a string of directors to bring an interesting take on the Batman character to the big screen. For this he earns my life long allegiance.

This is not to say that I am biased about Nolan's work because I was not a great fan of Inception on my second viewing and feel it worked well on the big screen but did not translate well to a home audience.

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That said, he is a master craftsman and deserves all the kudos he receives. He is of course ably assisted by his brother, Jonathan Nolan, who once again takes on writing duties for this piece.

The premise for Interstellar is based on the work of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne who, together wit producer Lynda Obst, conceived a theme around human access to the most exotic events in the universe.

This idea originally sparked the interest of another master film maker Steven Spielberg in 2006, and would trundle through development until Spielberg stepped down in 2009.

Interstellar would not find its director until three years later when, at the recommendation of his brother Jonathan, Christopher Nolan came onboard.

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Cast after Nolan had seen an early cut of the film Mud, Matthew McConaughey fits the role of Cooper so perfectly that we truly see the world through his eyes.

Nolan describes McConaughey's character as an 'everyman' and, although few of us will ever pilot space shuttles, we share a point of reference in the love of family and the concern for a better world for our children to grow up in.

This is Cooper's story, and to reveal too many cast details would be a plot spoiler. I will simply say that McConaughey's obvious passion for the piece echoes in his co-stars that include Anne Hathaway, Mackenzie Foy, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck and Nolan's lucky charm, Michael Caine.

With a budget of $165 million, Interstellar succeeds through its use of practical locations and his now almost expected use of IMAX cameras. This time however, Nolan's usual cinematographer, Wally Pfister, was unavailable due to work on his own directorial debut which was not factored in during pre-production.

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Lense duties now fell to Dutch cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema known for his work on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and the wonderfully low key Spike Jonze movie, Her (2013). He hits the spot, and the film looks beautiful and at times otherworldly.

An honourable mention finally to the always reliably brilliant Hans Zimmer for a haunting score which contributes to the films success.

Veering away from his usual heroic sounds, here Zimmer produces a more poignant score that perfectly illustrates every scene. It is a score that begs to be heard and deserves high praise on a par with the film it soundtracks.

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To reveal too much detail on the grander scope of the plot would rob you of the impact, but should you choose to climb aboard and leave the the galaxy with McConaughey and co, I can promise you it's one hell of a ride.


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