Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar may very well be our most anticipated movie for the rest of the year. Don’t get us wrong, there is a lot to be excited about between now and the close of 2014, but few things appear to hit on all the right notes like this movie. It has space, adventure, high stakes, and big ideas, which is just about everything we’re looking for in a science fiction movie (I feel like with Gravity last year, though to a lesser degree, Interstellar may inspire a similar science-versus-science-fiction debate). We’ve seen a couple of stunning trailers, but now the film is back with an equally gorgeous IMAX spot.
As star Matthew McConaughey says, “We’ll find a way, we always have,” that single brief line encapsulates how Interstellar differs (at least in what we’ve experienced thus far) from a great deal of the sci-fi being produced out there right now. There’s so much bleak and hopeless going on that it feels like every movie envisions either a post-apocalyptic wasteland or a dystopian nightmare. And while we do, admittedly, love those, it can get a bit overwhelming at times.
The near future of Interstellar presents a formidable obstacle, one with potentially dire consequences for all life on this planet. Climate change has progressed to a point where our home is not going to be habitable for much longer. You see glimpses of what appear to be a depression-era-style dust bowl sweeping across the landscape. But instead of wallowing in despair and self-pity, or giving up, it presents a more optimistic stance. It is bleak, but hopeful at the same time. Nothing in our solar system can help us, so we look beyond.
What Interstellar does (or again, at least appears to) is capture the sense of magic and wonder that space used to hold. You don’t come across that in sci-fi all that often anymore. As a species we used to look up at the stars and the possibilities we imagined out there were infinite. Somewhere along the way we lost that, and as McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and others venture out into the unexplored depths, through a newly discovered wormhole, the fate of humanity riding on their shoulders, you have to believe in that, or we’re all totally screwed.
The more we see of Interstellar, the more I become convinced that Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck are the grown up versions of McConaughey’s kids that he leaves behind when he blasts off. From what little I know of wormholes, there are all kinds of theories about time distortion and things like that, and perhaps more time passed for those back on Earth than for the team of space explorers.
Michael Caine has one of those soothing voices I can listen to forever, and any movie where he recites Dylan Thomas is one that I’m totally on board for. Interstellar doesn’t open for a few months, not until November 7, but if they keep turning out promotion like this, we’ll definitely keep being excited.