Swens N’ Dobs // A Space Odyssey

This week we review Interstellar, the newest mind-bending, visually popping, outer space adventure drama from director Christopher Nolan (Memento, Dark Knight, Inception). The film stars Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyer’s Club, The Wolf of Wall Street) as Cooper, an astronaut/engineer fated to save the future of the human race by exploring space for a new habitable planet. Also starring Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Help), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables, The Devil Wears Prada) and Michael Caine (The Dark Knight).


Christopher Nolan is breaking my heart. Interstellar adds more evidence to my theory that the once-wonderful director is slowly becoming a more complex, slightly more thought-provoking version of James Cameron (and I don’t mean that as a compliment.) Stunning visuals and sheer girth are simply not enough to mask the weak screenplay and frequent overacting. The movie relies on the talents of too many easily imitated actors cast in predictable roles. It fails to give them much to work with, resulting in absurd caricatures flaunting themselves on screen for three hours. Anne Hathaway delivers an acceptable performance, but Matthew McConaughey, who recently shocked the world with a few incredible performances, is unfortunately most reminiscent of his character from the new Lincoln car commercials. He slurs his words in an inaudible undertone and never looks directly at anyone when he speaks. Moments of realistic dialogue are few and far between. The absence of realism would not have bothered me if Nolan’s imaginative vision made up for it. Yet even here Interstellar falls short. The coolest scene takes place on a planet with enormous waves that rise up, high and ominous over the spaceship, and then crash dramatically as our protagonists scramble to escape. Beyond this scene, we are barely given access to the interesting planets in the periphery of the plot. We enter one frozen, barren planet. But the movie’s most interesting quality is the astronaut stranded there, an unintentionally hilarious casting choice revealed dramatically halfway through the film (I won’t spoil it here). The film included too many of these accidentally funny moments to be considered a successful drama. Interstellar is lengthy, utterly absurd, yet entertaining. Should you see it? If you’re at all considering it, watch it now while it’s still in theaters. Once Interstellar is off the big screen, there’s no point.


Interstellar is a classic Christopher Nolan film. It is incredibly beautiful—yet too much of it is unnecessarily confusing. With a running time of just under 3 hours, Interstellar drags on a bit too much. This dragging on becomes more and more acceptable the longer you watch what is going on. The movie is simply beautiful. Whether it is the scenes on the slowly dissipating planet of Earth or those that take place in space, the imagery is imaginative and often awe-inspiring. This should not be a surprise for those who are familiar with Nolan’s work in Inception and The Dark Knight. Another interesting thing is that with such a fantastic cast (Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and even John Lithgow), the best characters aren’t even human, but weirdly shaped robots with personalities. While you can’t help but be amazed by what you are seeing, the dialogue leaves very little to the imagination. Some of the lines are laughable and not in a good way. For the second week in a row, I came out of a movie without a clue of what just happened. While it worked well with Birdman, the intricacies of Interstellar did not seem necessary and worked out just a little too perfectly. One of my biggest disappointments with the film is in Chastain’s role. I think Chastain is a fantastic actress and have enjoyed her at almost every turn, but this movie did not provide her with enough to do. She contributed to some of the highly emotional aspects of the film, but other than that she was just there. I recommend that you go see Interstellar, but only if it is still in theaters. Otherwise, you will not be able to get the most out of this film and its astounding visuals.

More like Interstellar: Contact, Inception, Memento