The film begins by establishing at his own rhythm its ambitions: men overexploited land resources, which is why the only goal they have left is to survive. This life is not enough for Cooper, brilliantly played by McConaughey who gave body and soul to this character. But all of this wouldn't hold without the total control of Christopher Nolan, based on the languishing soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, the luminous and impenetrable photography of Hoyte Van Hoytema, and the sincerity of Nolan's directing. He manages to film the characters and to find the right cut at the right time, always in harmony with Hans Zimmer's soundtrack, to give the film an aspiring and inspiring dimension that went missing for many many years. Thus we are transported into the same cockpit that Cooper, we feel the same remorse that he can already feel, we feel the same gravity, and we feel the same fear of the unknown melted with the force of his will. All of this is brilliantly illustrated in a very simple directing choice, which from my point of view is the decisive impetus of the film: to directly jump from when Cooper leaves in his truck, leaving his family behind him, to Endurance taking off. This simple editing decision allows Nolan to give an original movement to his film, and the musical crescendo makes us physically feel the sentimental break between two parts of the film.
You don't necessarily have to understand it immediately : The film will raise questions in you, such as : what is it to be a human being, is there some physical limitations to our humanity, how far could we be willing to go to determine knowledge, is there other dimensions that we can not access to, and above all: what is the nature of this intact and immutable bond that unites us to others wherever we are in the universe ? Is this bond only intelligible, or is it also tangible ? All these questions resonate in harmony in Nolan's Interstellar.
Interstellar is itself a crescendo, increasing sensitivity and creativity. I use the term deliberately because it goes crescendo with the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, which is one of the most beautiful music ever scored for a sci-fi movie. We are witnessing a perfect musical arrangement, a total symbiosis, a bit like the music of Gravity which had understood very well how to match the image and the rhythm of a sequence to its own musicality. Zimmer's crescendos are giving a new powerful breath to every new scene, whether it is in visually powerful & intense moments or in more intimate moments; it intrudes into our momentary feelings and sensations, and manages to extend them, sometimes almost to choking, before resting on the balance of the film frame along with our mind spell-bounded.
I have seen all the talent of the director that I knew he was outside the norm, but whom I did not know his capacity to reinvent itself. Because this is it: Interstellar is not an action movie, not really a blockbuster, and it goes not entirely but mostly again the expectations of common people. It's much more than that. This is much more than just a sci-fi movie. It is unlike any of his previous films. Some hoped to see Interstellar as Christopher Nolan's best film, and they were disappointed that this was not the case. And indeed, THIS IS NOT THE BEST FILM of Christopher Nolan. Because in a way, IT IS HIS FIRST FILM. I'm not saying that Interstellar is not as good as his other films, it goes beyond all of them. But to me Interstellar is the first film of a new stage in Nolan's filmography ; it is a masterpiece as it the beginning of a work ahead. Interstellar is the proof that Nolan has finally managed, despite all the expectations that were placed on him after the success of The Dark Knight, to move away from his own reputation to create a personal work, original, humble, sincere and deeply, meticulously, measured.
Now, in this third act of the film, it all comes to life with unparalleled strength. Nolan poses and answers questions that raise others. But he focuses his attention on the great mystery of love, that emotional bond that can unite men and sometimes separate them. But Nolan is the only one that can successfully speak of love from a being to another in a film that mainly takes place in a another galaxy. From my point of view, only Solaris by Steven Soderbergh (2002), unfortunately neglected by the audience, was able to accomplish that. Interstellar is based on a premise which is the following : from terrestrial dust to the depths of space and time, we can never be separated from who we are as individuals and as a species, as we always leave a part of ourselves "behind" us. In other words, I could say that this is a human story, and even if we go as far as we want to, if we travel through the universe believing that we can be detached of the one we are fond of, we will only get closer to them. Because the separation, and thus the distance and time, can only ultimately reinforce the relationship between the people who really love each other. Because it is going to the end of the world, when we reach the end of ourselves, that we reach the singularity of the "black hole beyond the horizon" * : it is our humanity. No, I wasn't been able to find any bad flaws in the film. Not one, and I'm still looking. After all, Interstellar is like gravity, "all it takes is a little push ! "
*you'll have to see the movie to figure that one out.
Félix Tardieu, November 1st, 2014
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