Ever since he was a small child, aeronautical engineer Jim (director Nicolas Giraud) has dreamt about going into space. It’s all he’s ever wanted to do, and after just missing out on his chance to become an astronaut in the past, he’s more motivated than ever to achieve his goal. He’s so determined to make his plan a reality that he’s spent years constructing his own rocket in secret. He enlists the help of retired astronaut Alexandre (Mathieu Kassovitz), and alongside a small team of equally passionate dreamers, they group set out to help Jim’s childhood dream come true at the risk of his career, freedom, and even his life, “just to see what’s up there”, as he puts it.
Although Jim’s head is fixated on the stars, Giraud maintains that his film keeps its feet firmly planted on the ground. At its core, The Astronaut is a very human story about chasing one’s ambitions. The filmmaker plays the lead role with a boyish wonder, which only grows with each step Jim takes to completing his rocket. Though audiences may not understand the technical jargon about rocket fuel and the physics of zero gravity, everything that needs to be known about this story is neatly contained within Giraud’s performance.
The script (penned by Stéphane Cabel) plays out like many other underdog tales. Alongside a handful of scenes which show Jim training or occasionally butting heads with his teammates, the movie is full of characters telling Jim that he’s crazy. This trope is so repetitive that it has a tendency of weighing the pacing down, and the narrative starts to suffer for it.
As conventional as the plot can get during the midpoint, though, the payoff is more than worth it when The Astronaut reaches its final act. It’s here where this feature comes fully into its own. Complete with breathtaking visuals and a score that soars even higher, audiences will fully grasp exactly why Jim was willing to risk everything in pursuit of this moment.
The Astronaut does not have a UK release date yet.
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