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#TIFF19 Review: The Aeronauts (Gala Presentations)

September 11, 2019

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Set in London of 1862, The Aeronauts tells the story of James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne), a pioneering meteorologist who believes he will be able to use changes in sky temperatures to predict the weather, making him the laughing stock of the scientific community at the time. Determined to prove his theories and be taken seriously, Glaisher takes to the skies in a hot air balloon with Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones), a wealthy, showboating pilot who uses her natural flair for drumming up publicity through spectacle to help finance the trip. But the higher they go, the more problems arise, and they end up fighting to survive at record high altitudes as their equipment starts malfunctioning.

Directed by Tom Harper, The Aeronauts is a mix of suspense movie and middlebrow period piece. The film slows down in its flashback-heavy middle section, which goes back to ground level to show us how Glaisher and Wren met. These scenes are somewhat dry, and let a bit of air out of the balloon, so to speak. Those who go in expecting Gravity in a hot air balloon might leave a bit disappointed, but this is still a decent film that is carried by good performances from Redmayne and Jones, reuniting five years after The Theory of Everything. It also features a few pulse-pounding scenes that are bolstered by some spectacular, vertigo-inducing visuals.

Felicity Jones in The Aeronauts

Public Screenings:

Sunday, September 8th – 3:00 PM at Roy Thomson Hall

Wednesday, September 11th – 8:00 PM at Elgin Theatre

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