I hate that Interstellar is the first Christopher Nolan film I’ve walked out of without feeling like I had just seen a great film.
I hate that, from the opening moments, it telegraphs its ending ones, rendering so many of the proceedings dramatically inert.
I hate that it has a victimization complex, trying really hard to make scientific process the underdog in the opening stretch of the film.
I hate that it sets up this hopeless world fairly effectively, and then dares to suggest that we were foolish for not having hope.
I hate that John Lithgow is wasted with such a small role and given hardly anything to do.
I hate that some interesting framing decisions – e.g. the appearance that certain characters were being pushed down into the frame despite their desire to rocket upward and out of the bounds of the frame – were distracting from the moment and got me thinking about the framing rather than the movie.
I hate that there are so many scenes of characters explaining the world of the film to me rather than organically incorporating it.
I hate that it reminded me of the brief period when I was arrogant enough to believe I knew things other people didn’t and thus was ready to believe Moon landing conspiracy theories, with a smug air of self-satisfaction (this phase didn’t last long I swear).
I hate that I spent more time trying to figure out why exactly they were giving up on the Earth when they seemed to know so little about what was actually happening on Earth, and why exactly science felt the need to go to other planets when it seemed like they didn’t fully understand our own predicament.
I hate that it didn’t further push the really cool blend of barely Industrial Americana and sci-fi technology.
I hate that the drone chase through the cornfield was the best scene in the movie, and it happened five minutes in.
I hate that the minute we got to space, any sense of awe, wonder, and emotion vanished.
I hate that the first thirty minutes feel like the first thirty minutes of a far better film that was recorded over.
I hate that a movie about space exploration had exactly zero shots of the stars from Earth.
I hate that a movie called Interstellar technically didn’t feature interstellar travel since they didn’t travel to a star, but instead to a black hole.
I hate that a movie that fumbles basic emotional beats like a parent leaving a child behind tries to do the whole “science doesn’t understand love” schtick, but with even more technobabble.
I hate that it casually tosses around phrases like “five dimensional beings” despite having done nothing to suggest that other than “WEIRD THINGS ARE HAPPENING GUYS MUST BE FIVE-DIMENSIONAL BEINGS.”
I hate that it presents itself as if it knows its science, but doesn’t.
I hate that it tries the silent space thing, but really just makes its scenes feel choppy and inconsistent.
I hate that a movie about space doesn’t hold its shots, and instead assaults me with the intricacies of spaceships docking with space stations rather than letting me look at the admittedly gorgeous vista of Saturn for more than five seconds.
I hate that it undercuts the essentially human drive to explore, with no other considerations than to simply see what is there, with nonsense about “survival instincts.”
I hate that Matt Damon’s character is in this movie.
I hate that a movie that cannot make me cry with as gut-wrenching a concept as a father having to watch 21 years of his kids growing up without him all at once tries to hinge its climax on that relationship.
I hate that a movie that opens with a father encouraging his daughter to put her beliefs to the test and to uphold scientific methods of inquiry has as its climax that same daughter reaching an entirely unsubstantiated conclusion, basically making her arc a circle and showing that she more or less hasn’t changed despite years of scientific training.
I hate that the last thirty minutes of the movie cut between intense moments in space and a scene of Jessica Chastain giving confused looks to objects in a room back on Earth.
I hate that this is exactly the kind of film I would make.
I hate that it worked for me, somehow.
I hate that the end made me cry.
I hate that I want to see it again.
I hate that I like it, because it’s so broken and so audacious and commits so many transgressions against both science and traditional filmmaking that I feel like I should hate it.
But I don’t. In fact, I kinda like its cold, grey heart.