The Aeronauts

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Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Aeronauts
"The film blushes with good intentions and yet cannot fulfil its ultimate promise of discovering strength in originality." | Photo: Amazon Studios

You don’t have to be a non-believer to question The Aeronauts, but it helps. They say it is based on a true story (who are they?). It happened. Really?

1862. London. The hero is a woman. There is another. A man. Both beautiful people. They go up in a hot air balloon and break records for the distance above solid. At least they don’t sail beyond the horizon to prove that the world isn’t flat, unlike their conversation. He’s a weatherman. She’s a deb.

When she hears that he’s on a mission to Sky Central she wants in. He may be serious about science, but she’s serious about excitement. The danger can wait. In cinematic terms, being stuck in a basket halfway to heaven with a bloke she hardly knows has limited possibilities for action, although she remembers being grounded was worse.

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones have been intimate before on screen as Mr and Mrs Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, which was a whole lot different and more rewarding. Somewhere in the distance beyond Credulity where busters are blocked and memory married make believe in a private ceremony on the pearl white sands of your beach of dreams, these actors come together like a warm wind after a frosty morning.

The film begins with soft colours and takes forever to lose its polite affection for something special which appears later disguised as nothing unexpected until she leaps over his prone body - waving, not dying - to break the ice and save sentiment in a cascade of courageous deeds.

She is a woman of instinct. He is a thinker, too shy to instigate a debate. Life ripples through her veins. He smiles like an angel. It works every time. The film blushes with good intentions and yet cannot fulfil its ultimate promise of discovering strength in originality.

Reviewed on: 04 Nov 2019
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The Aeronauts packshot
In 1862, daredevil pilot joins up with a meteorologist in a bid to fly higher than any human in history and they find themselves on an adventure.

Festivals:

London 2019

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