British acting legend Michael Caine has criticised the Academy for overlooking director Christopher Nolan, as the 'Interstellar' helmer has yet to receive a single nomination for Best Director at the Oscars.
"I’m amazed [Chris has never been nominated], because he’s one of the greatest directors in the world, and everyone just ignores him. It’s amazing,” says Caine who plays Dr Brand in Nolan’s new film ‘Interstellar’, adding, “But I think they’ve got to take notice of [‘Interstellar’].”
Caine has worked with Nolan on six films to date including ‘Inception’, which garnered a Best Picture nod back in 2010. That film lost out to ‘The King’s Speech’, which is no surprise considering sci-fi films are generally overlooked by the Academy.
Many science fiction films have been nominated for Best Picture including ‘Gravity’, ‘Avatar’ and even ‘Star Wars’, but none have ever won the top honour in the history of the awards.
Nolan himself says he’s not concerned by the fact a sci-fi film has never won and he’s more interested in pleasing cinema audiences than the Academy.
“Anytime you work in a popular genre, it risks being pigeon-holed slightly as simply as entertainment.
“But for us really, ‘Interstellar’ has always been about [being] an entertaining thrill-ride, so that’s the really the focus [for us]. It’s about getting it out there to the audience and hoping they have some fun with it.”
Jessica Chastain, who plays astrophysicist Murph, thinks it could be the Academy’s predilection for human drama that holds sci-fi back from the top honours.
“Sometimes with awards, you think [the films which win] have to be very relatable, and perhaps with science fiction it’s designed to open your mind, and to dream of possibilities outside of the expected of today.”
The film’s lead, Matthew McConaughey, has recent experience with the Oscars winning Best Actor earlier this year for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, and he thinks that to label ‘Interstellar’ simply as sci-fi is to do Nolan’s grand vision a disservice.
“I don’t think you could just say ‘this is a sci-fi picture’,” he explains.
“I think the stereotype that people might say about sci-fi pictures, is they’ll say: ‘Where’s the personal? Where’s the intimacy? Where’s the human drama?’
“And [‘Interstellar’] is based on that. I think the human drama for me maybe emerges more than the sci-fi [themes]. The whole story for me is about: The further out there [into space] that we go, the more personal it becomes.”
Chastain concludes that if any film could take home the Best Picture Oscar, it could just be this one.
“Maybe when people see [‘Interstellar’] they’ll be so moved by what Chris [Nolan] has done, we won’t have this conversation [any more].”
‘Interstellar’ is in cinemas nationwide from Friday.
Image credits: Warner Bros.