Angus (Richard Dreyfuss) is an old man who lives with his daughter’s family and is a widower. Angus has had a lifelong dream of one day becoming an astronaut and going into space. But unfortunately for Angus, this never happened in his life. However, Angus soon discovers that a billionaire is running a new competition which will allow one lucky winner to go into space. Angus decides to enter the competition, but in order to qualify, he lies about his age. Soon it is announced across the world that Angus is now a runner up and it’s up to the world to vote who gets to be the winner.
Astronaut is a drama film but thankfully there are many heartfelt moments which I feel many movie fans will find appealing. It’s also a nice feeling to see actor Richard Dreyfuss as a leading character in a film again. His performance here is very satisfying. However, Angus as a character is somewhat vague, particularly at the start of this film. As an audience, it is unfortunate that at first, we don’t quite understand all of Angus’s reasons and desires for wanting to go into space. While answers are given and explained later in the film, it’s revealed at an unusual moment in the film and feels like it would have been more suited to come earlier.
As an overall film, I will confess that I personally really wrestled with this film back and forth. While I can say the story is a heartfelt one and the performance by Richard Dreyfuss is positive, I felt there are a few minor elements that really held this movie back.
Some of these elements include how the film is loaded with many coincidences. For example, every time a TV or radio is turned on it talks about the space competition. Side characters with side stories develop but never feel like anything gets properly resolved, instead the film’s prime focus going back to Angus. But for a good portion of this film, I struggled to develop feelings or a connection.
Overall, it’s welcoming to see actor Richard Dreyfuss take a lead in this heartfelt drama. Performances from the leading actor are positive and the story here is truly a great concept. Unfortunately, as a film, there were moments where I didn’t feel the emotions the film intended for me to feel. There are multiple reasons as to why I feel this way and I truly wrestled with my score on this film. Thankfully, there were many moments that movie lovers will enjoy as we witness a man trying to fulfil a long life dream.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden