Reviewed by: George Williamson

Behold, this that appears to be a man is actually... the man. The man has, after 10 years, quit his heroin habit and is trying to lead a normal life. Did he think it was going to be easy?

Daniel (Nancho Novo) is an ex-junkie, living with his 10 steps and his three-legged dog for company. When a teen runaway, Laura (Teresa Hurtado De Ory), starts sleeping on his doorstep, saying she's looking for her brother - his ex-neighbour - he bundles her out onto the street. But it appears that with quitting the smack he's gained a conscience and grudgingly allows her to share his flat and help him try to stick to the straight and narrow in his search for a normal life

Copy picture

Astronauts is a fast, fun film. From the first chunk, where we see Daniel being cold turkeyed by a couple of isolated shepherds in a remote cottage, the film snaps with vibrant, colourful energy and fast cuts that keep the proceedings humming along at razor pace. That's without even considering Miguel Brieva's fantastic dayglo animations, depicting the current stage of the 10 step programme. His eyeball popping, acid fueled, Monty Python style montages are dropped in every so often like technicolour atom bombs and the soundtrack pulls up close behind, delivering a intoxicating fix of obscure acid-funk, electro-trash outpourings and stoner rock.

Novo (The Red Squirrel, Lovers Of The Arctic Circle) is frighteningly perfect, as the ragged reforming junkie, and newcomer Hurtado De Ory works wonders as the angel of mercy sent to help him through his difficult times, injecting enough sexual tension to floor a rhino.

Writer/director Santi Amodeo has delivered what is probably the most emotional and entertaining film about heroin addiction since Trainspotting. It deserves to be elevated to the same cult status.

Reviewed on: 08 Aug 2005
Share this with others on...
Astronauts packshot
Acid comedy about a junkie trying to clean up.
Amazon link

Director: Santi Amodeo

Writer: Santi Amodeo

Starring: Nancho Novo, Teresa Hurtado De Ory, Alex O'Dogherty, Manolo Solo, Juan Motilla, Jons Pappila

Year: 2004

Runtime: 86 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Spain


EIFF 2005

Search database: