In American, unlike any other country in the world, it our society tends to not respect and revere our elderly. They are discarded, forgotten and treated like burdens. We tend to forget it is that generation of human beings who paved the way with their lives, their inventions and their contributions to society. Most forget that just because one has grown older doesn’t mean that they have forgotten to hope and dream what may appear to be impossible.
Growing older is daunting for most, but for Angus Stewart (Richard Dreyfuss) it becomes more than he can bear until he enters a contest where America is about to send a civilian into space at the urging of his grandson.
With the loss of his wife, his home and being placed in a senior living facility, Angus, a retired physicist, decides to give life one more exciting chapter. There’s just one twist, the application requires his age be no more than 65 with no history of heart or health issues. Angus is 80 years old with a plethora of health issues, but a burning desire to go out and up with a bang…literally to fulfill his dream of becoming an astronaut.
But, after a major medical scare during his on-air interview it was determined the risk was too great for him to make his dream journey. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise. Underneath the air strip of the Ventura runway poses a greater threat than anyone would’ve ever seen coming. Anyone…that is except for Angus.
Richard Dreyfuss and Dreyfuss alone is the sole reason this film works. His work is stellar and grounded no matter what type of material he is given proving yet again why audiences have been in love with him for decades.
Astronaut is a sentimental aging drama which displays some moving scenes between Dreyfuss and his co-stars Richie Lawrence (Barney) and the young, idealistic space program exec Elisa (Karen LeBlanc). Colm Feore (Marcus) is always impressive, but especially compelling as the second generation space program facilitator who wants nothing more than to expound upon his Dad’s legacy regardless of the price tag. In general, the film lags in some spots and the story takes a while to unfold, but it is inspiring nonetheless.
Does Angus make his space dreams come true or is the program thwarted by his runway revelations? Find out for yourself as this Aqute Media, Shelagh McLeod drama takes off into theatres as of July 26th.