Newest Reviews
Call to Spy, A
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Devil to Pay, The
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Newest Articles
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
  Astronaut Starry Eyed Surprise
Year: 2019
Director: Shelagh McLeod
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Lyriq Bent, Krista Bridges, Colm Feore, Richie Lawrence, Art Hindle, Graham Greene, Judy Marshak, Jennifer Phipps, Joan Gregson, Karen LeBlanc, Paulino Nunes, Mimi Kuzyk, Mike Taylor, Colin Mochrie, Jeff Douglas, Rhona Shekter
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Angus Stewart (Richard Dreyfuss) is an elderly, retired engineer who specialised in building roads, but now his wife has passed away he feels as if it is the end of the road for him. He has been forced to move in with his daughter Molly (Krista Bridges) which his son-in-law Jim (Lyriq Bent) is none too pleased about, though his grandson Barney (Richie Lawrence) is delighted, since they get along very well. Looking for something to occupy his time, Angus dusts off his old telescope and sets about surveying the night sky, for there is a comet overhead that he wants a closer look at, but this rekindles his interest in astronomy that draws him to a new competition on the subject of space...

Although he had supposedly retired, Richard Dreyfuss was coaxed back to the big screen for a few roles in his old age, including this one where he got to play the lead, not bad going for a star of his vintage in a film of the twenty-first century. It was an obviously low budget affair, a million miles away from the other movie where he tried to go into space, Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind which had had millions upon millions of dollars thrown at it, which even on nineteen-seventies terms was a huge amount. This, however, looked reluctant to even allow its protagonist to get up into space at all, and you suspected that was down to the meagre budget for visual effects.

Nevertheless, this did generate a degree of suspense since you were not wholly convinced Angus would fulfil his dreams, and after a while it did not appear to be that kind of story at all, not to give away too much, of course. The competition is open to anyone aged eighteen to sixty-five, which rules out our man, but essentially opens up the possibility of a trip into space for the winner on the first commercial flight to go into orbit, something Angus has been longing for ever since childhood, and now his wife has died he needs to occupy his mind somehow. Naturally, he could never afford to buy a ticket, so after a while, with encouragement from Barney, applies under false personal details.

Meanwhile his position in the family home has become more fraught, and he is forced to move yet again, into a retirement home this time. This was thanks to writer and director Shelagh McLeod revealing by this point that her tale was not so much one of never giving up on your dreams no matter how old you were, it was not as corny as that, and the genuine concern about the elderly and the state of their mental health was brought to the fore. Angus makes friends at the home, but it is telling his best relationship there is with the Graham Greene character who seems to have suffered a stroke and is unable to speak or move very well; his lack of mobility and communication is a handy metaphor for the plight of the aged who find themselves ignored or unconsciously belittled once their health breaks down.

Although the low budget did show, and this could really have done with a little more cash thrown its way, the sincerity of its wishes for the best for us once we reach our twilight years was surprisingly disarming, and thanks to Dreyfuss in a performance of frustrated dignity, avoided being oversweet or schmaltzy. There are more lessons to be drawn, as Angus's career in road engineering allows him to realise things at this space flight may not be as peachy as they might want to believe, fair enough this was as much wish fulfilment for the target audience of the older viewer as the idea that someone of the lead's age would be considered to be sent into space with a heart condition that we see him suffering spells of illness thanks to. But despite those reservations, it had a faith in the worth of those of us who society throws on the scrapheap by necessity more than callousness, and if it was a small scale movie whose ambitions it could not quite achieve, its heart was in the right place throughout. Music by Virginia Kilbertus.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 511 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: