Christopher Nolan is the best director working in Hollywood today. Well, that’s my opinion anyway. There’s a reason the best actors and actresses in the world want to work with him. If you look at the talent he’s had over the years, it’s staggering. The man’s work speaks for itself. He succeeds where so many other directors fail, in combining high concept spectacle with deep personal character drama. I could go on and on about my admiration for Christopher Nolan, as many have done before me. But we are here to talk about his latest, the space epic Interstellar. The third trailer dropped yesterday, and despite all the amazing work Nolan has done up to this point, could we possibly see his best film this November? After that trailer, it’s entirely possible.
Interstellar is about a group of astronauts (lead by Matthew McConaughey) who embark on a space expedition to find a new world for humanity using Interstellar travel, as Earth is slowly dying. That’s all we know, and that’s all we need to know. Why do you need to know more? Nolan, among other great filmmakers like J.J. Abrams, have often been criticized for playing everything close to the vest. They show very little in their trailers, and say even less when asked by the press. Movie fans are so entitled today. We want everything laid out for us three years in advance. We even complain when the only information we get out of Comic-Con for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a movie TWO YEARS away, is an epic clip with both title characters, and the reveal of Wonder Woman. But we still aren’t satisfied. What happened to the days of letting the movie speak for itself? Does it really matter you weren’t officially told it was Khan before seeing Star Trek into Darkness? That affected your viewing of the film? Ridiculous.
I appreciate Nolan so much for revealing very little in his trailers. Trailers today are obscene. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gives away the whole damn movie. How great was it to walk into Inception knowing very little. I understand there’s marketing to be done, but studios were able to do this for decades by showing just enough. But now because we live in this fanboy age of needing constant information, we assume if you aren’t showing a lot in your trailers, the movie probably sucks.
But enough trailer ranting, let’s actually talk about Interstellar. I have to start with Matthew McConaughey. Coming off “The McConaissance,” he’s front and center yet again in Nolan’s latest. You can tell from the trailer he hasn’t missed a beat since Mud, Dallas Buyers Club, True Detective, The Wolf of Wall Street, holy crap, this guy’s good. Nolan has also been criticized for his movies being brilliant, but cold when it comes to emotion and character. I find this totally inaccurate, as I resonated deeply with Cobb from Inception, and of course Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight Trilogy. Interstellar does seem to be a notch above these though, as there’s a heavy focus on McConaughey’s character, and the relationship with his daughter. McConaughey isn’t the only member of the cast to be excited about. Anne Hathaway. Michael Caine. John Lithgow. Casey Affleck. Jessica Chastain. It’s just silly.
Other than the characters, Nolan is also known for his movies looking absolutely gorgeous. In the past, Nolan has worked with long time cinematographer Wally Pfister, who won an Oscar for Inception. Wally went off to direct Transcendence (cough, cough), so no Wally this time around. The visuals haven’t missed a beat. This looks like a Christopher Nolan movie. I get the same feeling watching this trailer that I did for Inception. There’s so many interesting locations and aesthetics that look not of this world. While I have no idea how these come to be, I can’t wait to find out. And while filmmakers like James Cameron have been pushing 3D till the cows come home, Nolan has gone another route, using IMAX cameras for many of his films, dating back to The Dark Knight in 2008. While I’m not a big “let’s push movies into a new technological age” kind of guy (I care about character and story most of all), I definitely side with pushing it in the direction of IMAX as opposed to 3D, which makes everything dark and blurry. I can’t imagine how amazing Interstellar will look on an IMAX screen.
Another Christopher Nolan staple is Hans Zimmer, my favorite non John Williams film composer. Zimmer’s music for Inception and Man of Steel are probably my two favorite scores of the last five years. Every time him and Nolan come together, you can bet your ass it will be extraordinary. The music is another element that got me excited with this trailer. This may not even be Zimmer’s music from the film, but it is great, and makes you think of how sweet the score is going to be in the actual movie.
I can understand why some might be turned off by Christopher Nolan. It’s because of people like me shoving him in your face. Hopefully you’ll look past the Nolan-ites like me, and appreciate this trailer for the wonder that it is. It’s worth noting that this is the first Nolan movie to be released at the end of the year. If it’s as good as we all think it can be, there will be Oscar talk. I think Nolan in particular has been through the “snub/paid his dues” phase with the Academy, so he could make a legitimate run here. Although, I’m sure a lot of Academy members will look at this and say, “Didn’t we just give a bunch of Oscars to a space movie?” There’s still a lot of time before we get to that stuff, and who knows what movies we’ll get by the end of the year. The one thing I do know is that this trailer justified why I put Interstellar as my #1 most anticipated movie of the year, and I cannot wait to see what the master has up his sleeve this time.
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.