(Christopher Nolan, USA, 2014)
Nolan can't resist his penchant for bombast and dramatic overkill, but there's an undeniably vital sensibility at work here. It manifests itself mostly in the space stuff, which combines genuine wonder with a science-nerd scrupulousness (I got a geeky thrill from the fact that, as pedants have always insisted at the movies, there's no sound in space), although it departs from credibility on a more than a few occasions. Thematically, it's a lot of unfortunate treacle, combined with a distasteful technocratic slant. An odd combo, to be sure, but just odd enough to keep one interested. Nolan is an strange bird, never more so than here - he combines his extravagant melodramatic reflex with a steely, tasteful eye (the deep, dense 35mm and 70mm cinematography is luscious). Interstellar's debt to Kubrick is enormous, but it does better than mere imitation or pastiche, and it deserves credit for that. The story, however, is B-grade sci-fi pablum, and no better for being intricately plotted. Had Nolan allowed himself to go fully abstract, and fashioned something closer to a 2001 update, it would be a better film.