In Theaters: Interstellar

by cameronbarrettstewart


Brimming with amazing images and intense moments, Interstellar is very much worth seeing in theaters, the larger the better. I would describe it as “intensely cinematic”, which is not out of place with Christopher Nolan’s recent films. Nolan really works best in the atmosphere of a filled movie theater, where plot and dialogue issues are easily glossed over for the beautiful imagery and well done set pieces. This has been my point of view of Nolan’s films since The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight, Inception, and The Dark Knight Rises are hardly bad films (none of which I would rate lower than a 7/10), but watching them on a television or computer screen takes some of the suspension-of-disbelief away that comes more naturally in a movie theater. This is why I find it hardly surprising that Nolan is a supporter of filming (with film) and film projection. He wants to have complete control of the way he meant for his movie to be shown.

The same way a director can have trademarks for things that are intentionally reoccurring in their films, Nolan also has some trademark issues. My biggest “trademark Nolan issue” with this film has to be the writing of the dialogue. Movies will not always have realistic dialogue, and sometimes the unrealistic dialogue, for example Sorkin or Tarantino, is better than the realistic dialogue. Sorkin and Tarantino write dialogue in a way that romanticizes the way we actually talk. Nolan deglamorizes how actually we talk. Almost all the dialogue is written in a way where it is all too clear that it is there simply to explain something to the audience or force forward the plot. So instead of feeling like the film is naturally progressing, it feels like an intensely thought out Rube Goldberg machine. And when the dialogue does have earnest moments, they feel out of place in the milieu.

Nolan does make up a lot for dialogue by having good actors say the dialogue. Matthew McConaughey’s inherent sincerity elevated the script in places where many other actors would have fallen flat. I don’t mean to bag on Nolan so much, as I do have great respect for him. It seems like an incredibly backhanded compliment to say that Nolan knows how to pick actors that can work around bad dialogue. But, it just feels so true. Especially when you look at the times in a Nolan film when one of the members of the supporting cast is spectacularly bad (I’m looking at you The Dark Knight), and it is almost always the dialogue to blame.

Despite all my moaning on dialogue, I really want to say that you should go see Interstellar in theaters. There are many times when I could hardly believe what I was seeing. It is clear to me that Nolan went the extra mile to create mind-blowing set pieces and really give us something truly unique. This is especially true considering the reverence the film gives to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The homages that are included to 2001 are very well placed. At the same time the film does not linger on its influences, it rather uses them as a jumping-off point for its own story. This is why I find it funny when people describe Nolan as narcissistic. Nolan is clearly a lover of film, and is not afraid to be clear about his influences, without being weighed down by them.

While I was returning from the theater after Interstellar, it seemed to me that Christopher Nolan has the auteur qualities of Tarantino, the writing qualities of James Cameron, and just a pinch of the philosophies of Charlie Kaufman. Though the one quality he draws from all three is an unyielding individuality. Nolan serves a great purpose for us as moviegoers, by making Blockbuster-type films that strive for more, and almost always have an influence on Hollywood as a whole.

Cameron’s Rating: 8/10

Repeat Viewing Quality: 5/5

Movie Suggestion: 2001: A Space Odyssey

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