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  • Entertainment

MOVIE: The Aeronauts movie soars to impressive heights

Wednesday, 6th November, 2019 7:00pm
MOVIE: The Aeronauts movie soars to impressive heights
MOVIE: The Aeronauts movie soars to impressive heights

UP up and away in my beautiful balloon. If you’re old enough to remember that song you’re probably old enough to remember hot air balloons. 

Not that they were the number one form of transport back in the day, but there was a time when the large inflatables captured the imagination of a nation. 

The year is 1862, and headline news in Britain tells of a brave attempt by meteorologist and big balloon-flyer, James Glaisher, to break the world record for altitude with his co-pilot Henry Coxwell.  

Fast forward to Hollywood 2019 and the thoughts of retelling that story by putting two men in a balloon with not a woman in sight, causes such panic among producers that Coxwell is thrown overboard and replaced by the fictional Amelia Wren (see what they did there...combine famous aviator with bird, very clever). 

The results may be less than historically accurate, but they do ramp up the tension in the narrative, especially when we learn that Amelia’s former partner has died in a ballooning accident. 

As our two heroes soar to dangerous heights, we’re left wondering if they have what it takes to survive the deadly sub zero temperatures. 

Eddie Redmayne is reunited here with his ‘The Theory of Everything’ co-star, Felicity Jones, and their onscreen chemistry is undeniable as they steer the ship and action continually higher. 

The tension is truly gripping and as a spectacle, especially on IMAX, the film looks beautiful. We award it a review score of four, high-flying stars.       

If that doesn’t float your boat/balloon this week, there’s always Martin Scorcese’s ‘The Irishman’, a Netflix original which also gets a cinema release. Starring DeNiro, Pacino and Pesci, this gangster movie is very long, very funny, and very impressive in its construction and execution. Catch it on the big screen if you can. 

Finally, it’s the recently escaped ‘Doctor Sleep’, a Stephen King penned sequel to his 1977 horror novel, ‘The Shining’, and a decent watch for the first two hours before it slides off the rails in the final 30 minutes. 

Paul O’Rourke

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