“You are the only person who can fly us higher than anyone has ever been,” says James Glashier (Eddie Redmayne) to Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) in an attempt to convince her to pilot the balloon on his scientific expedition in the dramatic film, The Aeronauts.
Set in London 1862, headstrong pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher seeks to team up with daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren in his quest to fly higher than anyone has in history. James’ goal is to learn as much as he can about the weather in the hopes of one day being able to predict it.
While breaking records and collecting data the unlikely pair find themselves facing perilous situations. They struggle against unexpected storms and the elements as they rise above the earth higher than anyone has flown before. Unfortunately, their scientific voyage quickly becomes a fight for survival and the odds are definitely not in their favor.
Inspired by true events, The Aeronauts is a visually breathtaking journey into the sky featuring a compelling performance by Felicity Jones. The scenes featuring the balloon rising high into the atmosphere are truly breathtaking, and the high-flying adventure is made even stronger by Jones’ portrayal of Amelia Wren, a daring and brave balloon pilot who’s struggling with her own tragic loss, grief, and guilt.
The genuine chemistry between Jones and Eddie Redmayne, who previously co-starred in The Theory of Everything, elevates the film. The constant arguing between the headstrong scientist and the fiery pilot – and the eventual friendship that develops because of their shared experience on the expedition – is the best part of the film.
On the downside, the constant use of flashbacks to reveal the tragedy in Wren’s life goes from being informative to distracting, ultimately upsetting the pacing and rhythm of the film. Still, with wondrous visuals and Felicity Jones’ engaging performance The Aeronauts is a captivating experience that deserves to be seen on the largest screen possible.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some peril and thematic elements
Release Date: December 6, 2019 (Limited)
Directed By: Tom Harper
Running Time: 101 minutes
Studio: Amazon Studios