Critics and audiences-alike seemed to agree that Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were the perfect pairing in the 2015 Oscar-winning Stephen Hawking-biopic The Theory Of Everything – in which they garnered an Oscar win and nomination respectively.
And the ‘dream team’ duo are back in The Aeronauts, a based-on-true-events action-adventure set in 1862.
Redmayne is James Glaisher, an ambitious scientist who believes that getting ‘closer to the stars’ will help predict the weather – resulting in many lives being saved – but his peers find this ridiculous and literally laugh him out of the room.
Jones plays a fictionalised balloon pilot, Amelia Wren, a grieving widow who’s not ventured into the sky since she had a traumatic experience that previously took place in the clouds.
So both have points to prove by embarking on this adventure – whether it be professional or personal.
The extremely talented Jones is often under-used in films, with The Theory of Everything being a prime example of being in the ‘shadow’ of her co-star – with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story being a rare exception for her to have showcased her talents in the past.
However this time Redmayne takes a step back to let Jones take the lead – and she shines in the role. We first see Amelia arriving at the balloon on horseback, cart-wheeling onto the stage, before throwing a dog from the sky (don’t worry it had a parachute!).
It seemed odd at first to have the fictionalised character at the helm – but actually the movie would have really suffered without her ‘razzle-dazzle’.
But it’s not her performance that also proves to be the star of the show – with the truly stunning computer-generated effects being the overall winning factor. Obviously a lot of money has gone into this Amazon Original production – and my senses were fully invested in the fact that this was taking place 38,000 feet in the air.
Unfortunately this take on the famous flight may look good, but there’s sadly little substance to it beyond that and the amiable pairing of Jones and Redmayne.
With a film essentially about going ‘up and down’ in a balloon, I guess we were lucky to get the couple of action sequences we got. However, I’d hoped the flashbacks would push the story forward and add some weight, but mostly they just felt unnecessary.
Ultimately The Aeronauts is worth seeing for the visuals alone – but the story itself will likely float away from your mind soon after watching it.
ESP Rating: 3/5
Cast: Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Himesh Patel, Tim Mcinnerny, Tom Courtenay, Lewin Floyd, Vincent Perez, Anne Reid, Rebecca Front & Robert Glenister
Running Time: 1 Hr 40 Mins
Director: Tom Harper
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