A NASA astronaut (Thornton), forced to retire years earlier so he could save his family farm, has never given up his dream of space travel and looks to build his own rocket, despite the government's threats to stop him.
Texan Charles Farmer left the Air Force as a young man to save the family ranch when his dad died. Like most American ranchers, he owes his bank. Unlike most, he's an astrophysicist with a rocket in his barn - one he's built and wants to take into space. It's his dream. The FBI puts him under surveillance when he tries to buy rocket fuel; the FAA stalls him when he files a flight plan - it's post-9/11, after all. His wife is angry when she finds out their bank is initiating foreclosure. Charlie fears failure and decides, precipitously, to launch. Are twenty-first century American dreams just a sign of insanity? Are those who believe in dreamers only fools? Written by
During the filming in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico, Billy Bob Thornton did a "One stop promotion tour" as he put it, for both his album Hobo, and The Astronaut Farmer at the Santa Fe bookstore, Borders. See more »
The type of Atlas rocket show in the film was designed without a rigid internal skeleton. It was held up by pressurized fuel tanks. If the capsule were loaded atop as shown without the rocket being fueled and pressurized, it would have collapsed under its own weight. See more »
This is a wonderful movie. Simple and elegantly made. There are many layers to this movie that haven't been written about on this site. More like frustration and negativity seem to fuel these message boards. Cynicism is alive and well. The knit-pickers can make a nice lint blindfold if they choose not to see this movie for what it is: entertainment. Like Spielberg, Capra and many others the Polish brothers have arrived with a classic piece of storytelling.
The Polish Brothers have depth and while it seems it's their glossy turn to make a Hollywood movie they continue with their wit and edge, try and spot "The Last Supper" scene. Look for the homage to "The Right Stuff", "Apollo 13" and "Armageddon". The son is named Shepard after the astronaut. And I assume that the daughter is named Stanley after Stanley Kubrick since the Grandpa is named HAL ( 2001 : Space Odyssey). There's definitely an undertone for the hardcore Polish brothers fans. The dialogue alone is worth the price admission. Of course you'll need to suspend your disbelief for a story that seems so far fetched, a man launching himself into space, although I have read of 2 rocket men who have attempted this same idea-- but every time you walk into a movie theater you have to surrender some logic. Just the fact it's called a "movie" should tell you something before you purchase the ticket.
It's unfortunate that most reviewers feel like victims and have a need to share their boredom. I can imagine this movie not doing good with men who have lost their inspiration or desire. My brother in fact didn't like this movie because he said it wasn't possible. I don't remember him having this much trouble with "E.T." or "Forest Gump". My brother gave up his dream of being a writer, he now teaches high school drama. I debated with him over the fact this movie is also metaphorical and it's about everyones dream. That is why the rocket is named "The Dreamer" because everyone is dreamer, or has a dream they're building. This movie really shook up my brother and his dislike of this movie should motivate him.
I enjoyed this movie so much. I was able to bring my dad, kids and husband and that in itself is a triumph and the filmmakers should be awarded for that.
9 out of 10 stars, only because I am keeping one star for my dream.
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