starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon, John Lithgow and Michael Caine
written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
directed by Christopher Nolan
There are so many stars in this film I suppose it was a challenge for the writer/director to do justice to the talent and personality of each. Matthew McConaughey and Michael Caine come off the strongest, even though Anne Hathaway is McConaughey’s co-star. Matt Damon could have starred in this picture, but instead he has a relatively small, though important supporting role. I didn’t even recognize him at first. John Lithgow and Casey Affleck, too. Neither of them could not have properly held the lead role of astronaut/farmer Cooper, but their supporting roles seem much too small for their talent. I was excitedly looking forward to renting the DVD. When I finally watched it I thought it was good, but a bit too long. But maybe it had to be in order to do any sort of justice to the complicated physics it presents us with: quantum physics; black holes; worm holes; suspended animation; relative time; alternate galaxies; five dimensions.
21st century Earth is dying. Or rather, environmental destruction is making it impossible for people to survive. (The planet itself is actually just fine.) Some kind of parasite is killing all the grain crops, leaving only corn, and experts expect the corn to die pretty soon as well. The diagnosis is planet-wide human extinction either by starvation, asphyxiation, or both. Space exploration has stopped so that science can focus on terrestrial crises, and society has regressed to subsistence agriculture. Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a former NASA astronaut-turned-farmer and widower in a world where the NASA space exploration program is just a memory. He lives with his father-in-law (John Lithgow) and two children in a mid-West America in extreme environmental decline.
After one thing and another, Cooper and his daughter, Murph, discover that NASA still exists and is secretly working on a space colonization survival project led by Dr. John Brand (Michael Caine), one of Cooper’s university instructors. Invited to return to the space program, Cooper leads a crew of astronauts that includes Brand’s daughter, Amelia (Anne Hathaway), a biotechnologist, through a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity. The wormhole was “placed” in space near Saturn by unknown extraterrestrials, for unknown purposes. But adventurous humans can’t resist the urge to try it out. So they do. Cooper’s relationship with Amelia competes with his relationship with Murph as the axis of the story. But his promise to Murph that he will return remains the crux of the story because it is used as a vehicle to demonstrate relative time. Cooper does comes back to his little girl, but by the time he does one hundred earth years have passed and Murph is dying of old age while her father is still a relatively young man. Interesting.
You gotta figure it out. No one’s going to be out here to help ya.
Once you’re a parent you’re the ghost of your children’s future.
Our survival instinct is our single greatest source of inspiration.