Take your daughters (and sons) to see ‘Interstellar’

I just saw ‘Interstellar’ with my 11 year old daughter, and we both loved it. There is not one but two brilliant female scientists in this movie. Even better for kids, part of this movie shows the genius mathematician as a curious, smart 10 year old.


When Murphy is a child, and when she is an adult (played by Jessica Chastain) she is never once denigrated for being a female. In both incarnations, she wears a shirt and pants, her hair in a messy bun. Her gender is a non issue in Interstellar’s dystopia. Do you know how rare this is? Let’s just say it’s almost unheard of and unseen in Hollywood movies for both children and adults.


The other female scientist, played by Anne Hathaway, is also not sexualized for the most part in costume, posing, dialogue, or narrative structure.


Yes, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain are Minority Feisty (I use ‘feisty’ as a singular or plural, like you’d use ‘fish.’) Most of the characters are male including great roles played by John Lithgow and Matt Damon. The robots have male names and voices. The protagonist of the movie is Murphy’s father played Mathew McConaughey. Murphy’s sister-in-law is so subservient to her husband, I rolled my eyes a few times. So the gender representation in ‘Interstellar’ isn’t a perfect triple H, but the movie exemplifies such spectacular storytelling, that it’s sexism is sidelined instead of the female characters. The narrative structure is so compelling, so well done, I want to see the movie again, just to study how the dialogue and scenes all build on each other, each shot leading to the next, brilliantly balanced like a house of cards.

Need more to recommend this movie? The special effects are outstanding. Visually, ‘Interstellar is not only gorgeous but depictions of a black hole, other planets, and the dimensions are fascinating to see.

Finally, the movie asks all the big questions, and will get your children to ponder them as well, such as: Why are we here? What will become of us? What is our destiny? What is the meaning of love? I’ve seen so many disaster/ end of the world movies, as I’m sure you have too, but never once have I seen the apocalypse portrayed as the human species going on to our next stage as explorers and pioneers.

I want to thank a real life genius, Lea Verou, for recommending I take my daughter to see ‘Interstellar.’ I don’t know Verou, but she follows me on Twitter, and her comments to me were so interesting, I Googled her (and now follow her along with 50,000 plus others.) I don’t even understand her bio, so I’m, pasting it here, because maybe you do.

My name is Lea Verou (Lea being short for Michailia or Μιχαήλια) and I’m a computer scientist / web standards geek / front-end developer / web designer / speaker / author,  originally from Greece. I’m currently a Research Assistant at MIT CSAIL, in David Karger’s Haystack group and an Invited Expert in the W3C CSS Working Group.

In the past, I’ve written a book on advanced CSS for O’Reilly, worked for W3C/MIT, gave over 60 invited talks around the world, released several open source projects, co-founded a Greek startup called Fresset Ltd (which I left in 2011), and many other things. I hold a BSc in Computer Science from Athens University of Economics and Business, in which I have co-organized a 4th year undergrad course about web-development in the past. While my background is technical, I have a strong passion for visual design as well.




It goes on for a few more paragraphs. I’m writing about Verou here because clearly she is the kind of visionary that I hope more of our daughters will grow up to be. I think movies like “Interstellar’ will inspire them. My daughter looks lit up right now.

You always ask me what age is good for the movies I recommend, and I always tell you it depends on the kid. There are no sexual situations (no sexual situations!) in ‘Interstellar.’ There is no gore (no gore!) Yet in no way does the movie feel sanitized or whitewashed or “for kids.” (The theater was packed full of adults except for two teen girls.) Death is a theme, but woven through the narrative in a way that I think is beneficial for children to ponder. Personally, I think my 8 year old would be confused by the plot, so I wouldn’t prod her to go, the way I cajoled my 11 year old this morning. But if she wanted to go, I would take her, curious to see what she gets out of it.

Reel Girl rates ‘Interstellar’ ***HH***

Congratulations to “Brave”

Last night, “Brave” won the Golden Globe for Best Animated film.


YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish director Brenda Chapman could’ve accepted the award since “Brave” was a story she created, inspired by her daughter, but I know that’s not protocol.



Still, with that wish in my heart, it annoyed me that the male on stage talked and the female didn’t say one thing. I’m assuming they were producers of “Brave.”

The biggest bummer for me was Kevin Costner. He is so arrogant and annoying. But the good news is, we didn’t have to watch three hours of arrogant men. The night belonged to women.

It was so great to see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler up there on stage.


They were so funny. I loved how they quipped about Bill Clinton: “That’s Hillary’s husband!” And then called him Bill Rodham Clinton. Introducing some of the nominees in the audience, they joked about dieting. Fey said, “The Hunger Games…also what I call the six weeks it took me to get into this dress.” Poehler added: “Life of Pi”…which is what I’m gonna call the six weeks after I take this dress off!” Their porn jokes were funny too, and also how they said to Kathryn Bigelow: “When it comes to torture I trust the lady that spent 3 years married to James Cameron.”



I loved the end of Jessica Chastain’s acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Drama:

I want to thank Kathryn Bigelow my director.  I can’t help but compare my character of Maya to you, two powerful fearless women that allows their expert work to stand before them.  You’ve said that filmmaking for you is not about breaking gender roles but when you make a film that allows your character to disobey the conventions of Hollywood, you’ve done more for women in cinema than you take credit for.


It was excellent to see Lena Dunham win and get up on stage twice. She said: “this award is for every woman who didn’t think there was a space for her.  I found my space.”


Jennifer Lawrence won for Best Actress in a comedy. I still haven’t seen “Silver Linings Playbook,” but I’m dying to.


Claire Danes won her excellent portrayal of the smart, complex heroine of “Homeland.”

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards Press Room [NO Germany, Austria]

The incredibly talented Adele took home an award for showcasing her kick-ass voice in “Skyfall.”


Julianne Moore won for her role in “Game Change” as Sarah Palin.


It was funny to see Fey and Moore joke about playing Palin, a character who, of course, neither woman would’ve had the chance to play if she didn’t exist in the real world.

Jodie Foster’s speech was funny and moving and strange and I was so happy to see a woman who is 50, relatively young for a lifetime achievement honor, win the Cecil B. DeMille award.



What did I miss? Whoever it could be, without a doubt, the 70th Golden Globes was the best ever for women, and therefore, of course, the best ever at all.