Christopher Nolan saw 2001: A Space Odyssey when he was eight and decided to become a filmmaker. This tribute can be viewed as his own examination of what makes us human. On an ecologically doomed, near-future Earth, a NASA pilot (Matthew McConaughey, the film’s glue) must travel through a conveniently (some might say religiously) emerging wormhole to find humanity a new home. But to do so means leaving behind his beloved daughter (played as a child by a terrific Mackenzie Foy, as an adult by Jessica Chastain).
Thanks to time-bending Relativity, he’ll probably never see her again. By the way, she sees ghosts. The intricate story can’t be detailed in this small space, so a few observations. While it’s a science fiction movie, the science is viable, which makes the fiction more believable. Nolan’s universally praised films have been called cold and emotionless. The Dark Knight trilogy and the head-trips Inception and Memento for example. But in this surreal yet grounded movie, he manages to effectively balance spectacle and emotion, the cosmic and the intimate.
Call it science with a soul. I have read some criticisms. Most are subjective and should be ignored. This must-see film will stretch your mind. Couldn’t hurt. Big screen, please. The bigger the better. (169 min)