“Interstellar” left me speechless. Just a year after “Gravity” blew audiences away and took home seven Oscars, Christopher Nolan’s space epic has captivated audiences and become the must-see film of 2014. Nolan is known for his thought-provoking stories (“Memento,” “The Prestige,” “Inception”), but all of the mind-blowing concepts in this film are entirely supported by physics. It feels very sci-fi but the entire film is theoretically possible! Wormholes, relativity, and fifth-dimensional portals become a part of our vocabulary through Jonathan Nolan’s script, which works as a subconscious textbook that explains and creates understanding of these challenging concepts. While you expect to see a story about space travel, this is actually a story about the love of a father for his daughter. Your mind will be processing a new perception of time and space as you walk out of the theater, but you will find yourself talking about Cooper and Murphy. I believe that this is what makes this movie so appealing - regardless of your interest in space exploration and physics, every heart aches for this father to return to his daughter. This incredible display of acting makes the story resonate with each of us, as if we are the ones saying goodbye. When did Matthew McConaughey become such an amazing actor? He has separated himself from his romantic comedy reputation through roles in “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” and now this emotional performance. His chemistry with Mackenzie Foy drives the entire film, even though they only appear together for a small percentage of the story. The goodbye scene will surely leave you in tears. Once you add in the rest of this acting all-star team, which includes Jessica Chastain (wow.), John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, and Matt Damon, it is no surprise that we are emotionally engaged from start to finish. The film has been criticized for its three-hour runtime, but so much happens that it never feels like three hours. The story, which stretches from a small family on Earth to an isolated man in another dimension, is tied together through Hans Zimmer’s inspired musical score. I have never heard a Zimmer score like this and you can tell that he tapped into his love for his own children to get to the heart of this story. His use of organ is stunning. He exploits the instrument’s ability to play without any dissipation of sound to create tension in the most important moments of the film. The music becomes unrelenting in the goodbye scene as it continually builds without ever backing off. Unlike the epic themes that we expect from Zimmer, this score creates an ambient background for space. His unique instrumentation includes 4 pianos and a 60-voice choir facing away from the microphones. Perhaps the only thing more breathtaking than the musical score is the contrasting silence of outer space when the music disappears. This film takes us to places in the universe that have never been seen by human eyes. The visual effects artists really hit a homerun with the spherical wormhole, giant tidal waves, ice clouds, and planet-like black hole. The effects are so impressive and there is so much to see that it is easy to forget that TARS (the robot) isn't real. This film is so much more than it seems, introducing us to new perspectives of time but also serving as a commentary on our misled societal priorities (overemphasis of wasteful spending and sports, under-appreciation of farmers and natural resources). “Interstellar” may seem intimidating with its long running length and advanced physics principles, but the heart of this story leaves a lasting impression that you will want to take with you forever.
[Pictured: This is what Interstellar is actually about]