Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Christopher Nolan's INTERSTELLAR

A movie review by Dennis D. McDonald

There are scenes in INTERSTELLAR that are achingly beautiful and moments of such intensity I almost forgot to breathe.

What I really connected with was the emotional content. We see the love between parents and children played out against a backdrop of a dying earth, wormholes, faster than light space travel, suspended animation, and high-tech robotics.

It’s a heady mix. The only other movie within recent memory that packed a similar emotional punch for me was TREE OF LIFE which, coincidentally, also co starred Jessica Chastain.

The story: The earth’s food production capabilities are dwindling. The need exists to locate another habitable planet using newly discovered wormholes that traverse time and space.

The movie follows a retired astronaut who leaves his family to make the journey knowing that, given how travel at relativistic speeds affects the experience of time, if he ever does return his children will have aged significantly faster than he and might even be long dead. 

This elastic experience of time and relativity has long been a staple of science-fiction novels but I have never seen it so convincingly and clearly demonstrated as in this film.

The technology — the spaceships, computers, robots, and spacesuits — are all convincing. The robots especially are amazing and unlike anything ever seen before.

But it’s the  family relationships that make this movie. Whereas 2001: A Space Odyssey was a cold and intellectual portrayal of space flight and alternate realities, INTERSTELLAR grounds itself in human emotion and relationships. That’s what ultimately makes it so effective.

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Review copyright 2014 by Dennis D. McDonald



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