interstellar3Christopher Nolan has become the master of the grand epic that makes less than subtle comment on society and government. The Batman trilogy was about the inequity of justice and profound loss. Inception also touched on loss and rule breaking to achieve the greater good. Memento was more than a story telling trick, it was also about loss. Nolan is back again, successfully weaving socio-political commentary into a sci-fi thriller in INTERSTELLAR. Briefly, (the movie is almost 3 hours long, so anything I write will be more succinct than that) the Earth is dying. It’s turning into a dustbowl (nod to climate change). People are just doing what they can to survive including former astronaut, now farmer Matthew McConaughey. His son is primed to follow in his farmer footsteps. But his daughter Murphy (played at different ages by Mackenzie Foy, Jessica Chastain and Ellen Burstyn) is all about science and curiosity. An outlier and a freak in this dismal future. Through a series of events McConaughey and his daughter stumble upon NASA’s secret lab. No one wants to spend money on space when people are starving on earth (a comment on shortsighted politicians). McConaughey’s Cooper is talked into piloting a mission to another Galaxy using a secret worm hole through space located near Saturn. The mission (along with Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley and David Gyasi) is to find a new Earth to populate. There is some talk of physics and time and the theory of relativity that I almost grasped. But the movie doesn’t get too deep into those weeds. Instead it mostly focuses on McConaughey’s relationship with his daughter and son. Murphy ages while Cooper is traveling through space. There is also a theme of the moral responsibility of government. Can official lie or keep secrets if they truly believe they are serving the greater good? So you can see, there are many questions that Nolan forces you to consider while at the same time he is entertaining you with a compelling story and spectacular visuals. This is science fiction, but more along the lines of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY than STAR WARS. Nolan fans will be thrilled and amazed and it will confirm everything they (ok, we.. I am a huge fan) they see and experience. Everyone else may not be willing to sit through nearly 3 hours of Nolan exploring his vision. That’s ok. That’s why man invented DVD’s and video streaming. But if you are willing to commit to the time, it will be well worth your while. — Alan Yudman


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