- Don Ford
Don Reviews "The Aeronauts"
Extreme heights can make me shaky! Now, I can fly in a plane with no problem, but put me at the window looking straight down in a tall skyscraper and I get just a little bit wobbly kind of like when “The Walk” was released (I loved it, but the shots looking down made me a tad uncomfortable. I really don’t understand how people who clean the outside windows on high rises or construction workers who work on tall buildings can do what they do. Knowing this, I was a little apprehensive when approaching Tom Harper’s (War & Peace) “The Aeronauts,” but I was also interested.
Inspired by true events (and oh, I am going to get into that), this is the story of James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne), a British scientist studying the ability to predict the weather, and his record breaking hot air balloon adventure in 1862. He feels that going high into the air, weather can be studied more closely, and so he teams up with another scientist named Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) in order to break the record of the highest ascent in a hot air balloon and see what breakthroughs can be made.
The film had the same feel as the previously mention “The Walk,” with camera shots that panned down to show how far off the ground they were, and combined with the CGI was incredible. And again, it gave me a bit of dizziness from the height. From an acting standpoint, there are really two characters in Glaisher and Wren, and both Redmayne and Jones do well here with Jones as the outgoing and showboating lady that still takes her job seriously and Redmayne as the “science nerd”. There are also some good work by the supporting cast, which includes “Yesterday” star Himesh Patel.
There is quite a bit of time jumping in “The Aeronauts” in order to give a look at the back story of the two principal characters, but it did not get very confusing, especially for a short run time of less than one hundred minutes. However, even though the poster and trailers boast how this film is “inspired by true events,” the only thing that was true was the fact that Glaisher broke the world record of the highest ascent because the person he actually broke the record with was a man named Henry Coxwell. Now, I understand the trend of gender bending in entertainment, but when it rewrites history, that goes too far. There are those who will believe Wren was a real person because of how the story is presented, and it is a shame that Coxwell is not getting the recognition he deserves. If a film boasts and advertises that the film is based on true events, it should at least get the lead characters right and give the actual person the recognition they deserve. Because of this, I am only giving “The Aeronauts” a recommendation of streaming it on cable at home, and that really is because of the CGI.