House Logo
Explore categories +

Interstellar (#110 of 21)

The Films of Christopher Nolan Ranked

Comments Comments (...)

The Films of Christopher Nolan Ranked
The Films of Christopher Nolan Ranked

There’s an engimatic quality to the role of Christopher Nolan in the current filmmaking landscape, and one that stands apart from the fact that his films so often court ambiguity with explicit intent. From the Russian-nesting-doll antics of Inception to the magicians-as-filmmakers commentary of The Prestige, Nolan’s ambition within the realm of big-budget, broad audience spectacle is comparable to the likes of few. Among those, James Cameron comes to mind, and now Nolan joins the Avatar director with his own film about interplanetary travel, the logical next step for a filmmaker so concerned with world-building, literal and otherwise. Looking back at his work thus far, what emerges—apart from his obsession with identity, reality, community, and obsession itself—is an artist who, heedless of his own shortcomings, is intent on challenging himself, a quality that salvages and even inverts a great many of his otherwise pedestrian choices. One suspects that this is an artist still in his pupa stage, and one is also fearful that the near-unanimous praise heaped upon his work since his breakout hit, Memento, will only serve to keep him there. To wit, his latest film, Dunkirk, employs the kind of chronology-bending antics that epitomize Memento and Inception. Rob Humanick
 

Oscar 2015 Composite Winner Predictions

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2015 Composite Winner Predictions
Oscar 2015 Composite Winner Predictions

Below is a complete list of our predicted winners at the 2015 Academy Awards.

Picture: Birdman
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Adapted Screenplay: Whiplash
Foreign Language: Ida
Documentary Feature: Virunga
Animated Feature Film: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Documentary Short: Our Curse
Animated Short: The Dam Keeper
Live Action Short: The Phone Call
Film Editing: Whiplash
Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Cinematography: Birdman
Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Makeup and Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Score: The Theory of Everything
Song: “Glory,” Selma
Sound Editing: American Sniper
Sound Mixing: Whiplash
Visual Effects: Interstellar

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

The debate surrounding the allegedly intentional inscrutability of Interstellar’s dialogue is unquestionably more of a liability in the sound mixing category, where clarity and precision is the whole point. Christopher Nolan himself has done his share of damage control since the movie’s release, explaining away all concerns by declaring his own ostensibly “adventurous” decision as though his command of the medium and penchant for difficult, potentially alienating formal choices rivals Tarkovsky’s. Nolan’s enough of a self-inflated prig that we actually buy his retroactive excuse. But the even more powerful element working in his favor is the otherwise eardrum-massaging, brown noise-flirting cacophony covering up that dialogue. Say what you will about the film’s philosophical shortcomings, it sets off a fusillade of fireworks that assertively level the playing field between Neil deGrasse Tyson and Katy Perry. Interstellar nominee Richard King is actually going for a record-breaking fourth competitive win in this category. (His previous wins came for two other Nolan films, Inception and The Dark Knight, and before those Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.) While on paper (well, on subwoofer and tweeter), King sounds like a frontrunner, sound editing is also a category that truly can’t deny its own membership in the NRA. The films of Katherine Bigelow, James Bond, and Jason Bourne have all cold-bloodedly picked off their competition, and the last time Clint Eastwood had a war movie in the hunt (well, two), Letters from Iwo Jima won handily. Now roaring its way toward $300 million and boasting as many bullets as you or Glenn Beck please, American Sniper definitely has King in its sights.

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

If best animated film, best documentary feature, and best director begat the year’s most conspicuous snubs (for The Lego Movie, Life Itself, and Ana DuVerny, respectively), best sound mixing boasts the most controversial nomination: Interstellar. Personally, we’d like to thank the trio of Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, and Mark Weingarten for doing all they could within their power to drown out the Nolan brothers’ pompous dialogue in favor of Hans Zimmer’s IMAX-sized music cues, but even we’d draw the line at giving them the actual trophy, and there’s little doubt that the Academy’s sizeable ear trumpet-hoisting constituency will too.

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Original Score

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Original Score
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Original Score

By now, anyone who’s followed the Oscars with enthusiasm levels we’ll say match your best friend who tries to maybe catch four or five of the best picture nominees only after the nominations have been announced is now likely familiar with the sad case of Alexandre Desplat. An overachieving workhorse in the John Williams tradition, Desplat’s work, like Williams’s (or the protagonist of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which earned Desplat a nomination), has gradually with time streamlined many of the glorious, avant-garde wrinkles from his voice to the point that his scores often skirt self parody. But at least in Williams’s case, a lot of his idiosyncratic, exciting early scores were at least nominated; the films almost everyone agrees represented Desplat’s finest work to date (e.g. Birth; The Painted Veil; Lust, Caution; to say nothing of his compositions for French cinema) were all ignored by Oscar.

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

This year’s slate gives us PSTD-drenched flashbacks to the legion of fanboys defending the honor of their beloved caped crusaders in our various comments sections. Grouse though I may, there’s no denying that even this category’s historical resistance to the superhero genre is futile now that the blockbuster genre has all but taken over blockbuster filmmaking. Or is it? Yes, three of the nominees this year are straight from the Haus of Marvel, but does that change the fact that, barring some borderline exceptions like the first two Indiana Jones films or Forrest Gump, a measly two superhero movies—Superman and Spider-Man 2—have ever actually taken home the award here? Add to that the potential for vote-splitting between the carbon-copy spectacle of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Guardians of the Galaxy, and you’re left with a two-pony race. (You could argue that Guardians’s snarkier tone sets it apart from the other two, but only if its VFX strategy had offered a strong visual corollary.) Three years ago, we were pretty sure that the expressive CGI primates of Rise of the Planet of the Apes would survive the freight train of momentum behind Hugo in the tech categories. The wizardry animating Caesar and his ilk has only improved since 2011, but it bears repeating: Do Academy voters actually like this franchise? Or any franchise? You can count on one finger the number of sequels that have won in Oscar’s most sequel-friendly category in the last 10 years, so you have to assume Interstellar’s going to smack the competition down like a mile-high tidal wave.

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Production Design

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Production Design
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Production Design

Us in 2014 about the best production design Oscar, following a string of missed guesses in this category: “We don’t know shit.” Us in 2015, having correctly guessed last year that the most spangled, most ornamented choice would cakewalk its way to a win: “We know some shit.” It doesn’t hurt that this year’s contest is nearly as much a foregone conclusion as it was for The Great Gatsby last year, though we hasten to note that this year offers no contenders we can safely eliminate from the conversation without comment (as we did with American Hustle and Her). True, voters would have to throw back to the dusty era of Gandhi and Out of Africa for something as staid and cloistered as The Imitation Game’s wall of decrypting cylinders (loosely inspired by this) to coattail its way to victory. Frankly, we’re not impressed with the cut of Harvey Weinstein’s jib this season, no matter how often he takes the high road. And if this is one of the only categories the far more beloved Gravity ended up spinning out of orbit, don’t expect the slower, heavier Interstellar to launch.