What it’s up for: Score, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects
Interstellar is about…space.
It’s also about…dust?
Ok ok. I won’t spend this post giving Interstellar a hard time. I wasn’t interested in seeing it when it first came out so I ended up seeing it this week during one of its last run at my local theater. So, the movie started at 10:20p….this is NOT the movie to see late at night. Therefore, I ended up more confused than I probably would have been if I had seen it at a reasonable hour.
So, anyway, Interstellar is about a man named Cooper who believes that on a dying planet where everyone’s primary focus is simply to stay alive, humanity still desires to explore. Through a series of mysterious events he ends up heading a mission to space to find a new habitable planet for the humans of Earth. In the process, he leaves his two children behind without knowing when – or if – he’ll return.
This movie is simply Christopher Nolan being Christopher Nolan. The visual effects are astounding. Breathtaking. Intimidating. It blows my mind how each year, CGI advances a little bit more. On top of that, the production design is practically flawless. There is a stark contrast between Earth, space, and the alien planets. With that, though, there is also a sense of consistency. The dusty Earth in particular stood out to me the most because everything was legitimately covered in dust and dirt.
The sound mixing and sound editing were impressive, but like war movies (*cough*American Sniper*cough*), space movies will almost always get nominated for these categories. The creation of new sounds and figuring out how sound works in fictional environments is quite the undertaking. With Interstellar, Nolan’s partnership with Hans Zimmer brings a powerful and unique score into the mix as well. (Pun intended.) I knew that the movie was nominated for the sounds going in to it, so I was surprised when there were moments when I couldn’t hear the dialogue clearly. So, I figured it must have been intentional on Nolan and the sound mixers’ parts. Turns out, I’m not the only one who came to that conclusion. I didn’t notice this as much in the Knight movies or Inception but it was quite distracting during Interstellar. Despite that, though, the mixing with the score was EXTREMELY effective. The use of silence alternating with Phantom of the Opera-ish organ music creates an intensity that you don’t really get from the characters who stay relatively calm throughout the movie. It’s quite the interesting juxtaposition.
I would be interested in seeing how I respond to the movie during a time when I’m not exhausted. The teens I work with really liked it, for reasons they can’t really pin down. The complex theoretical science and obscure plot line create plenty of SPACE for discussion. (Two puns in a post might be too much, eh?) Personally, the whole wormhole/black hole/space-time continuum thing feels overdone by now.
Score – Possibly!
Sound mixing – Probable
Sound editing – Probable
Production Design – This one is a tough category…I can’t make a call yet.
Visual Effects – Um, a Christopher Nolan brain-buster vs 3 superhero movies and monkeys who didn’t win their first time around? Yeah, I’m gonna go with probable.