The Aeronauts (2019) A Review

A delightful Surprise.  It would have been easy to make this one dull, instead they nailed it.


DIRECTOR:  Tom Harper

STARRING:  Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Himesh Patel

SCREENPLAY:  Tom Harper, Jack Thorne

GENRE:  Adventure, Biography

RUNTIME:  100 Mins

★★★★ 4.5 Stars  

Wow.  This was a total hidden gem.  With 80% of this film taking place in a hot air balloon, thousands of feet above the ground, and there being only 2 actors for most of that time, it would have been easy for this film to be dull and stagnant.  Instead it was heart stoppingly exciting adventure and I am so glad that I convinced myself to give this one a chance.

The Aeronauts tells the story of James Glaisher and Amelia Rennes as they attempt to fly higher than any man or woman has ever been before. Glaisher believes is he can get accurate readings he will be able to Predict the weather, ultimately saving lives, and under much scrutiny from his fellow scientists, enlist Amelia’s help to fly him up through the clouds in her balloon.  The two come across more trouble than you would expect and the pulse pounding action scenes are worth the price of admission alone.

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne do a staggering job in this film.  The whole film rests on their shoulders, as they are the only two figures on the screen for the majority of the film, but through their chemistry and the clever camera work the 6×6 basket feels considerably bigger and helps make this intimate movie work as well as it does.

Jones really shines in this film.  Whereas yes, the film is about both characters, and their struggles, the story is really driven forward by Jones’ character and she is the one that has the most spectacular scenes in this film.  The moment she starts climbing up the rigging on the freezing balloon, with frostbitten hands, you are biting your nails and watching the screen through your fingers, so tense is the atmosphere.   She does a spectacular job, and it worries me that this film is going to go relatively unnoticed, and she won’t get the attention she deserves for her tremendous work.

100 minutes may not seem long for a film that tries to deal with the amount of themes this film contains, and when someone tells you it is about two people in a balloon, talking about the weather, you would be forgiven for believing this film will be boring.  It’s short runtime I feel works in it’s favour, with the subject matter being what it is, a longer film could have lost the magic and the tension that ‘The Aeronauts’ had, so I am glad they chose to keep the movie relatively short.

Please don’t skip this one based on its trailer or premise. Neither does it justice.  It is truly a hidden gem.

The Aeronauts is out in UK cinemas TODAY!   

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