Fantasia 2019: Astronaut

Astronaut (2019) 1h 37min | Drama | 26 July 2019 (USA) Summary: A lonely widower battles his family, ill health and time to win a competition for a golden ticket to space.
Countries: CanadaLanguages: English

A retired civil engineer enters a competition to be part of the first commercial flight into space in Astronaut. Angus Stewart (Richard Dreyfuss) is a 75-year-old man with heart problems, who has been living with his daughter Molly (Krista Bridges), her husband Jim (Lyriq Bent), and son Barney (Richie Lawrence). When a billionaire entrepreneur named Marcus Brown (Colm Feore) begins a competition to find someone to join the first commercial space flight, Angus takes the chance to finally realize his lifelong dream, especially after his condition forces Angus into a nursing home.

Astronaut is the feature film debut from actress-turned-filmmaker Shelagh McLeod. The film stars Richard Dreyfus as a retired civil engineer, who has always dreamed of travelling to the stars. However, Angus’ heart condition requires him to be admitted into a nursing home, where he quickly befriends fellow retirees Len (Graham Greene) and Joe (Art Hindle). Despite being a decade older than the age cutoff, Angus decides at the very last minute to enter the competition and try to be part of the first commercial space flight into space.

Having an Academy Award-winning actor such as Richard Dreyfuss in the lead role definitely helps to elevate a small Canadian film such as Astronaut. Indeed, this is a film that will definitely pull at your heartstrings and make you believe that it is never too late to realize your dreams. Along with having one of the most nuanced performances by Dreyfuss is quite a while, Astronaut also sports solids performances by Colm Feore and Graham Greene, with child actor Richie Lawrence also standing out as Angus’ grandson Barney. Altogether, Astronaut is an absolutely wonderful and heartwarming film.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).