Interstellar ★★★★½

I really shouldn't even attempt to review this beast until I see it again... maybe even until I see it two more times, but oh well, I'm just gonna try to pour as much out as I can and hope that it doesn't sound idiotic. It's probably going to turn out much like my Nymphomaniac review: one giant, incoherent mess of a paragraph... but I suppose that's better than nothing or a sly one-liner (although sly one-liners are a lot of fun, and it wouldn't be too hard to come up with a bunch relevant to this film, haha). Overall, I loved it. I really did. There are certainly some things that I didn’t love about it, and I’ll get those out of the way first, but I’m not going to spend too much time on them because 1) you guys know me; I’m an overwhelmingly positive reviewer… I like to focus on the things that I adore about films rather than the problems that I have with them, and 2) going along with that, I’m the type of viewer who is able to look past minor errors in films and recognize that I loved the experience as a whole, even if certain parts might’ve been better than others. So here it goes - I’ll just focus on two main points, in particular. First, the pacing in the first act of the film was too quick for me, but in Nolan’s defense, he had to have pretty rapid pacing in this film in order to get everything out of the way in <180 minutes… and I also think that he knows his audience, and he knew that his audience would want to get out into space as fast as possible, haha. Which they can’t be blamed for. Second, I wouldn’t say that it was over explained, and I wouldn’t say that it was under explained either; I would just say that there was a little too MUCH exposition. Sometimes they would be speaking about abstract notions beyond my grasp, and it didn’t matter how much they talked and talked and talked about them, because I was never going to understand quantum theory and concepts related to relativity from a five minute speech from Anne Hathaway anyway… so those parts dragged a little bit for me. They reminded me of an AP physics course more than a cinematic experience. But those aspects aside - and a couple other minor things that honestly aren’t even worth mentioning because I’m probably just nitpicking and/or don’t deal with (over?)sentimentality in blockbusters quite as well as most viewers do - this was a hell of a film. Nolan’s directions here is stellar; he really went out of his way to craft a science fiction film that almost transcends science fiction into pure science with how much research he put into the ideas behind it. There are a lot of unbelievable things about it (and I mean that literally), especially when you near it’s end, but all in all, I respect how much thought went into the skeleton of this film, the screenplay, the design, the vision, the intricacy. So even if I didn’t particularly enjoy some of the exposition, I always respected it. Next, the acting is amazing. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again: I don’t know what the fuck happened to Matthew McConaughey. I can’t believe how far he’s come. He now delivers incredible performance after incredible performance: Killer Joe, Mud, Dallas Buyers Club, True Detective, Interstellar. He’s solidified himself as one of the finest actors of his generation, and ten years ago if one would have attempted to predict that, nobody would have believed them. But above all else, this film is visually and aurally masterful. The cinematography and editing always remains very Nolan (very reminiscent of Inception, The Prestige, etc. in it’s perfect flow between past and present or Earth and space), but it’s almost like there’s a touch of Malick/Lubezki in here as well. It’s definitely Nolan’s most visually stunning film yet (by far); there are certain shots/sequences that will make your jaw drop… if you’re a fan of the Stargate sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey, there’s plenty of that here as well. And Hans Zimmer has crafted his finest score since The Thin Red Line - I was blown away by the music. It’s SO beautiful. There’s nods to plenty of films in Interstellar, but for me, one of the most recognizable nods of all was to Suspiria (of all films). This nod doesn’t surface ‘till the second half of the film, but I swear, there were certain composition sequences in the second and third acts that reminded me so heavily of a Goblin’s score for Suspiria. Awesome stuff. Speaking of the third act, there are a number of complaints about it in reviews all across the web but I didn’t have any issues with it… in fact, it really “made” the film for me. Sure, some of the ideas behind it and some of the character realizations/epiphanies are stretches, but that’s forgivable. It was (toward the end of) the second act of the film that almost brought the film down a half star for me; the sequence of the film with you-know-who (Dr. Mann) was probably my least favorite part. I didn’t downright dislike it, but the film started to head in a different direction than I was hoping for, so I’m glad that section of the film was short-lived… because then it went in EXACTLY the direction that I was hoping for, transforming into the tripped out, psychologically affected science fiction film that I was waiting for it to be throughout it’s entire runtime. I love the idea of playing with the intergalactic unknown through the world of cinema, whether it be black holes, wormholes, time dilation or five-dimensional reality. It takes balls and it is, above all else, just so damn COOL, especially when you’re presenting to your audience visually by warping the fabric of time and space as we know it. It makes for a truly unforgettable experience; it’s those kinds of things, those kinds of memorable images and ideas that allow me to look past any minor problems that I might have had with the film and see it as a success, an enormous achievement. So bravo, Mr. Nolan, and everyone else involved. I enjoyed this film as much as I ever could have hoped to enjoy it, and I’m already dying to see it again. Oh yeah, and I really, reeeaaally want a TARS. Like really badly.

Edit: for anyone who is curious, I just linked Coward, the OST track that was giving me those gorgeous Suspiria vibes, in the comments. It's such a beautiful tune.

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