The calendar may have turned from summer to fall a while back, but that doesn’t mean audiences will be lacking the same kind of big budget spectacles they were treated to earlier this year. Amidst all the Oscar contenders, there will be major blockbusters making noise, include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and of course, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

Given that the Dark Knight trilogy filmmaker is calling the shots and the film sports a star-studded cast that includes the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain, it’s no surprise that Interstellar is one of the most-anticipated releases for the remainder of 2014. Nolan’s pedigree has even caused some generate awards buzz for the project, but can it live up to the hype? Based on the initial reactions, it sure seems like it can.

Paramount has begun the process of early screenings for both the movie press and general audiences, a move that has proved to be quite beneficial for the sci-fi epic. Reading through the reactions, it looks like Interstellar is yet another achievement for the fan-favorite auteur (read additional positive responses from regular filmgoers over at /Film):

As if the film needed more help selling tickets, these responses should just continue to add fuel to the fire that Interstellar is something worth seeing. Nolan appears to have impressed all corners of the Hollywood world, including famed director Edgar Wright – so that’s a promising development for fans hoping that the Inception helmsman would be able to continue his (arguably) career-long hot streak.

While Wright’s tweet will most likely hold the most weight with casual audiences (given his stature in the industry), the more interesting comments come from Noah Cowan of the San Francisco Film Society. From the beginning, there have been comparisons made between Nolan’s latest and Stanley Kubrick’s genre classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, but from the sound of it, Interstellar will be one-part homage and two-parts “rebuttal.”

Cowan calling the movie a “poem to light and gravity” plays along with the optimistic, hopeful nature of the film’s trailers – which to some played as a reaction to the latest wave of apocalyptic dystopia sci-fi flicks that spell doom and gloom. Interstellar obviously isn’t going to pull any punches when it comes to hard-hitting drama (see: McConaughey’s emotional farewell with his daughter), but it’s still looking to show off the wonders of human discovery and what we can accomplish when we put our mind to something. Maybe that was the original concept Nolan worked into the script when he joined the project.

interstellar trailer anne hathaway Interstellar Early Screenings Generate Positive Buzz

The other takeaway from these reactions is that – as is par for Nolan’s course – the film is going to look spectacular on the big screen. The director has made great use of the IMAX format in the past. Nolan once again shot parts of his picture using IMAX cameras, and if the jaw-dropping visuals illustrated in the marketing materials didn’t give moviegoers enough motivation, word-of-mouth indicates that Interstellar is worth seeing in the most premium format available to you. This looks like a case where that extra surcharge is a smart investment.

One of Nolan’s trademarks as a filmmaker to this point is painting narratives on a very large canvas (Gotham City, people’s dreams, etc.) and finding a way to tell them in an intimate way that makes the final product go beyond the confines of its original premise. He’s always been one to inject heartfelt emotion and heavy personal stakes into his works, and Interstellar is shaping up to be no different. As we sit on the edge of our seats waiting to see if Cooper (McConaughey) can get back to his family, it looks as though we’re going to be in for one heck of a ride.

Interstellar will be in theaters November 7.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.

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