Christopher Nolan's Interstellar has substantial amounts of wit and wisdom but a windy ending that will tax the patience of all but the most stalwart of fans. The film, written by Nolan's brother Jonathan, tells the near future tale of a widower farmer and father of two named Cooper, who is also a grounded NASA pilot (Matthew McConaughey).He's grounded because the nation's resources are needed for the raising of crops and not for space exploration. Some natural scourge called "blight" has devastated most food sources and enormous dust storms threaten to choke the rest of life on the planet. Cooper and his adoring daughter Murph (played as a child by Mackenzie Foy) stumble across a scientific anomaly in the child's bedroom and discover, rather miraculously, that lines in the dust are geographic coordinates. Off they go, tossing caution to the wind, following the coordinates and discover the dusty remains of NASA, headed by a physicist named Brand (Michael Caine) and his daughter (Anne Hathaway). After the brothers Nolan scatter the requisite Stephen Hawking / black hole folderol about for a bit, Cooper, the daughter Brand, two other space explorers (Wes Bentley and David Gyasi) are off on an expedition to another galaxy via a wormhole. They're in search of a planet that could be colonized (Plan A) or serve as an incubator for human life (Plan B). The space travel set pieces are marvelous and the planet visits supply sufficient thrills but for some reason the many narrative tendrils don't come together completely. It's not that questions are left unanswered. It's that the answers aren't especially deep. A parallel storyline that involves an adult Murph (Jessica Chastain) and her brother, played by Casey Affleck, as they wait for either a sign from heaven or a dusty death feels peculiarly uninvolving. Even so, the movie is imaginative and at times quite provocative. What's out there? Maybe that's the wrong question to ask.


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