Matthew McConaughey, fresh off his award-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Valee, 2013), plays our protagonist “Cooper," a widowed former pilot and engineer who is selected by Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) as part of a team to leave Earth in search of a new home for humanity. McConaughey delivers another strong performance in a very emotional role. In the film, Cooper opts to leave his two children behind in order to find us a new home. His 10 year old daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) does not take his decision very well, as she begs him to stay. Nevertheless, Cooper remains steadfast in his decision, but promises to come back.
Cooper will undoubtedly be the character audiences will identify with the most in this film. He has a family, a dream, and extremely difficult decisions to face throughout the film, including whether to see his family again or to save humanity. His daughter Murph, mission member Amelia (Anne Hathaway) and her father Dr. Brand are other well-developed characters in Interstellar. Beyond these, however, characters in the film start becoming one dimensional. It is important to note that director Christopher Nolan focused on the scientific accuracy and theories of the film, even going as far as hiring renowned physicist Kip Thorne as Executive Producer and consultant to the project. As a result, he leaves little room to develop the other characters. Also at 167 minutes, it’s a long ride with a relatively slow beginning. Regardless, the pacing picks up, and the audience becomes immersed in the spectacle and story of Interstellar. Nolan has once again provided an original, well-written screenplay that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride through the fabrics of space and time. The visual effects, while (in my opinion) not quite up to par with Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, 2013), are in themselves a spectacle to behold, especially when viewed in IMAX. Nolan filmed the majority of Interstellar with IMAX cameras. As a result the picture is fully utilized on an IMAX screen, particularly a theater with a 70mm film projector. If at all possible, I definitely recommend seeing it in this format.
The film also succeeds due to its balance of grand imagery and spectacle with deep and intimate human drama. Nolan stated in interviews prior to the film’s release that Interstellar was his most personal film to date, and it’s easy to see why after your first viewing. It should be noted that Nolan also drew inspiration from Steven Spielberg’s pioneering films Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), as these films emphasized a strong family element. Nolan emulates this in Interstellar, specifically with Cooper and his daughter Murph.
In case you haven't seen it, below is the second released trailer for Interstellar. This trailer in particular showcases the balance between the grand, epic space odyssey and the deep, emotional human drama.