"Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here."
It is this idea (alongside that of the endurance of love, the irrepressible human desire for hope, our wonderment when we look to the stars and the unbreakable link between parent and child) that propels Christopher Nolan's epic into the stratosphere.
Set in a desolate future, the Earth as we know it no longer exists, replaced instead by a Depression-era drought, famine and an unpredictable and dangerous climate. With resources running low, humanity seems all but lost so a desperate mission is enacted that takes a group of brave explorers beyond our solar system; far from home and seeking a new one. Engineer-turned-farmer Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) makes the heartbreaking decision to leave his children and venture into the unknown.
Interstellar possesses such scope in regards to story, depiction, setting, performances, effects and musical score that it is both a thrilling and exhausting piece of film. Science-fiction movie fans will recognise with comforting nostalgia the tone depicted throughout as the realism and authenticity of the world Nolan creates is reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey, its sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact and Ridley Scott's Alien. It is not so hard for a modern audience to imagine the plight of those in this not-too-distant-future setting nor the utter desperation of mankind.
The film features five academy-award winners within its cast (McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Ellen Burstyn and Matt Damon) and the quality is maintained effortlessly throughout the entire ensemble. All members of the cast (including a strong turn from young Makenzie Foy as Coop's bright daughter) are outstanding. Emotionally, the film is intense but there are a few lighter moments thanks to TARS and CASE, the artificial intelligence that accompanies the human crew. There are dazzling pay-offs and shocking twists in the story, superbly portrayed by this stellar cast and masterfully directed by Nolan. All of this is expertly underpinned with Hans Zimmer's score, an element too that recalls space sagas of old and is unlike his other efforts when collaborating with Nolan.